Plants for East-Facing Gardens


There are a few plants that will thrive in an east-facing garden. Working out the direction your garden faces and planting accordingly will help you choose the best plants for your location and give you many happy hours in your outside space.

Which way does your garden face?

To work out whether your garden is east-facing, stand with your back against the outside wall of your house, facing your garden and look at a compass. Whichever direction is straight ahead of you is the way your garden ‘faces’. Or, if your house blocks the afternoon sun, this generally means you have an east-facing garden,

What is an east-facing garden?

In an east-facing garden, direct sunlight will fall over your garden early in the morning making it the perfect spot for a coffee first thing or an al fresco breakfast. Taking advantage of this morning sun is vital so if you have large trees or fences that block this light, it may be worth considering lowering these barriers to ensure you get the full benefit.

Protect delicate plants

Certain plants are just not morning folks, so it’s worth thinking about protecting these if you still want to grow them. Species that flower early, such as Camellias are a prime example but can still be successfully grown if they are tucked against a wall, out of full sun.

What are the best plants for east-facing gardens?

Any garden plants that like partial shade will thrive in an east-facing garden, from foliage-rich Hostas to beautifully scented Honeysuckle. Clematis is another example of a flowering plant that will love the gentle early rays, followed by an afternoon shade and can be grown in pots if space is limited.

Here are some shade-loving plants that will succeed in your east-facing garden:

  • Astilbes – Shades of white, pinks or reds. Hardy and perennial.
  • Dicentra (Bleeding Heart) – white or pink. Hardy and perennial.
  • Heuchera – huge variety of colours, year-round interest.
  • Azalea – beautiful spring flowers in a variety of colours. Requires ericaceous (acidic) compos
  • Hydrangea – long lasting flowers in blue, white or pink (depending on soil type).
  • Rhododendron – large, evergreen shrub requiring ericaceous soil.
  • Euphorbia – find a shade tolerant variety of these perennials with zingy yellow flowers.
  • Cornus (Dogwood) – a deciduous shrub with brightly coloured stems that cheer up a winter garden.

Vegetables for east-facing gardens

Plenty of vegetables can flourish in an east-facing garden as they prefer the cooler temperatures generally found there. Lettuce (including rocket), spinach and kale are ideal and can all be grown in the ground or in pots while root vegetables such as carrots and beetroot and will love the conditions providing they are in good, well-drained soil.

Hot summer sun rapidly strips all moisture from the ground so although plants and vegetables will still need to be watered, the frequency will be less in a cooler, shadier east-facing patch.

Herbs like parsley and chives will also grow well in this situation and can be placed in a pot outside your back door or on an east-facing windowsill for easy picking and cutting.

Soil in bulk bag

Get the basics right with Earth Cycle

As with all gardening, getting the basics right in an east-facing garden will ensure successful growing. The quality of your growing material is one of these basics and our peat-free Soil Conditioners, Topsoils and Composts are the perfect choice for your outside space.

We offer free delivery across the UK, so order your bulk bags of topsoil or compost today for curbside delivery.

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