Sun or shade plants for your outdoor living wall?
Living walls are a fantastic way to bring nature into your garden and add some greenery to your outdoor living space. However, when it comes to selecting the right plants for your living wall, it's important to consider the UK climate and the amount of sunlight your plants will receive. In this post, we'll explore how to determine whether your space is sunny or shady in the UK, and which plant collections are best suited for each.
Determining Your Sunlight Levels
The UK climate can be quite unpredictable, with the amount of sunlight varying depending on the time of year and your location. However, there are a few ways to determine whether your space is sunny or shady:
1. Use Your Phone:
Stand with your back against the wall where you plan to put your living wall, and use your phone's compass to determine which direction it's facing. South and West-facing walls typically get the most light throughout the day and are suitable for sunny plant collections. North and East-facing walls tend to get less sun and are better suited for shady plant collections.
2. Observe Sunlight Levels:
Watch the space for a day and make notes on when the sun first hits the area and roughly how long it stays in the sun. In the UK, anywhere that gets four hours or more of direct sunlight per day is classified as a sunny spot, while anywhere that gets between two to four hours a day is classified as a shady spot. Less than two hours of sunlight per day is considered full shade.
If you live on a balcony then this method is going to be the most useful as there will be other buildings potentially restricting the amount of light into your space.
Choosing Your Plant Kit or Collection.
Once you've determined the sunlight levels in your space, it's time to choose the right plant collections for your living wall.
These kits and collections need to be sat in a sunny spot and ideally need more than 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Typically a South or West facing wall.
These kits and collections are designed to be sat in a shady spot that gets less than 6 hours of sunlight per day. Typically this will be your North and East facing walls and anything that’s shaded by surrounding trees/buildings etc.
Sunny and Shade:
The majority of the plants we use will sit in either, the main change being the varieties of ferns.
The UK climate can be challenging for living walls, but by determining the sunlight levels in your space and choosing the right plant collections, you can create a thriving green wall that adds beauty and vitality to your outdoor space.
Learning about the light levels in your garden can unlock it's true potential, when you have the right plant in the right place.
As a general guide, more than 6 hours of sunlight (S&W facing) is sunny and 4-6 hours of sunlight is shade (N&E facing). Please see our FAQ section for more information.
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