Buying a property comes with its own array of challenges but one aspect that is not often talked about is garden direction. You may not think that the direction that garden is facing would have an impact on the property but you may be surprised.
The direction a garden faces brings its own range of positives and negatives, depending on which direction the garden is situated. However gardens that face east have long thrown property buyers the challenge of deciding whether or not they are right for them.
Looking for a quick answer? Use the menu below to jump straight in:
- What is an east facing garden?
- How to find out if a garden is east facing
- Is having an east facing garden an issue?
- Positives to having an east facing garden
- Negatives to having an east facing garden
- Is an east facing garden a problem?
What is an east facing garden?
An east facing garden is exactly what it sounds like. It is a garden that faces the east. When the sun rises on a morning, it fills a garden facing the east with sun until around 1pm. As the sun sets in the west, the garden is then cast in the shade until the evening.
How to find out if a garden is east facing
To find out if a garden is east facing, simply bring up the compass app on your phone and stand with your back against the wall. Point your phone to the lower part of the garden where the compass dial should point to 90 or east.
Another way you can find out if a garden faces east is to open google maps and enter the address of the property to see which direction the garden is facing. This will only work for homes situated in the northern hemisphere.
Do east facing gardens get any sun?
Exactly how much sun an east facing property gets depends on the location of the property. As the sun rises in the east, you can expect your garden to be filled with sunshine on a morning. Then from around 1pm onwards the afternoon sun will cast partial shade over your garden for the rest of the afternoon and into the early evening.
Other factors can affect the amount of sun you get in, such as obstructions in the landscape. If you are surrounded by large trees or tall buildings or an obstructive garden fence you can expect less sunlight to hit your garden compared to if there were none.
East facing garden ideas
If you have a garden that faces east, there are ways you can make the most of it. One of the main ways to do this is with the flowers that you plant. The early morning sun and shady afternoons that a garden that faces east brings create the perfect environment that allows various plants, flowers and vegetables to thrive.
Flowers that will particularly thrive under these conditions are:
- Lily of the valley
- Christmas fern
With the right kind of soil, vegetables such as beetroot, carrots and cabbage are also suited to an east facing garden. Or alternatively, a greenhouse may be the way forward for avid gardeners determined to bring their garden to full bloom.
Is an east facing garden better than north?
Whilst gardens that face the east are considerably less popular than south facing gardens, east facing gardens rank higher amongst buyers than north facing do. A north facing garden means that the garden spends the majority of the day in the shade making it much cooler than its east facing counterpart.
Is having an east facing garden an issue?
Whether or not a garden that faces east is an issue depends entirely on the buyer. Before buying a house with a garden that faces to the east, you need to be aware that whilst your garden will be able to bask in sunshine in the morning, come middle to afternoon it will be in the shade. As with a garden facing in any direction, a garden that faces east comes with both positives and negatives.
Positives to having an east facing garden
Reduces the risk of mould
Another plus to a garden that faces east is they can reduce the risk of mould issues on a property. Whilst south facing gardens are a more popular choice, a common problem that they face is mould.
With a south facing garden the sunlight is concentrated to the south of the home whilst the north receives too much shade and moisture. This leads to mould taking over the walls and the garden, as well as the risk of water damage. With an east facing garden the sunlight is far more evenly distributed and so reducing the risk.
Reduces the risk of sun damage
Whilst a south facing garden comes with more hours of sunlight, it also comes with an increased risk of sun damage. Over time the sun can damage curtains and furniture, fading their colour. Sun damage is a problem that is prominent amongst south facing gardens but is a problem that is rarely found in east facing gardens.
Another perk of having an east facing garden is that it will be safer during droughts than south facing gardens. During summer months when water supplies run low, often the first port of call is a water ban.
Whilst this is a great way to save water, it can have a crippling effect on gardens, especially for the flowers growing there. An east facing garden is not as exposed to the sun as a south facing garden. This means that plants and flowers growing there are sheltered and require less water, making them far more likely to survive droughts.
Ideal for families
As gardens that face the east mostly receive the sun in the morning and are in the shade during the hottest hours of the day, they are viewed as ideal for families. Children can play outdoors without parents having to worry about sunburn or heat exhaustion.
Negatives to having an east facing garden
Impact on sale value
Unfortunately, there are downsides to a garden that faces east. The biggest problem that gardens that face the east bring is that they are not as valuable as a south facing garden is. Whilst there are plenty of factors that need to be considered whilst determining the value of a house, it mostly boils down to what a buyer wants, and that is usually a south facing garden.
Whilst a garden that faces east undoubtedly has its perks; the fact remains that some buyers are willing to pay more for a south facing garden.
Inhospitable environment for certain flowers
Whilst lily of the valley and hydrangeas may bloom, there are many flowers that do not take well to the harsher climate of an east facing garden. Many of the more popular plant choices, such as lavender, need more sun than an east facing garden can provide for them. This makes it hard to maintain a varied and healthy garden when it faces the east.
Too much shade
Whilst shade can offer a welcome respite from the heat of the sun in summer months, having a garden that faces east will mean that your house is mostly in the shade from the afternoon all the way until the late evening.
This can have a knock-on effect on the rear facing rooms in your property as they will not be naturally well lit and may require electricity during the afternoon. It is worth considering that this is a problem that will not get easier in the winter months as the days will be shorter, meaning the rooms will need lighting for longer.
Say goodbye to sunsets
As we have already discussed, a garden that faces the east means not as much sunlight as a garden facing the south. This means that after 1pm, there won’t be a lot of sun in your garden, so if you were hoping to spend evenings watching the sunset, you may have to move into your front garden to do so.
Is an east facing garden a problem?
A garden that faces east is not necessarily a problem within itself, however it is important for buyers to understand exactly what an east facing garden means, and how it will impact their future at the property.
This covers everything you need to know about buying a house with a garden that faces east, if you have any questions about east facing gardens, or any insight on them, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Alexandra is a junior content producer who enjoys writing articles and finding out more about the property market.