Plants for a west-facing garden

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The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and planning your garden according to the sun's position allows you to optimise the look of your landscape. A west-facing garden takes advantage of long shaded days and bursts of sunlight in the afternoons.

Whether your house faces west, or you want to beautify the west side of your property, a plethora of foliage and flora thrive in west-facing gardens, adding beauty to your home landscape. Depending on the region and climate, plants that thrive in a west-facing garden vary from partial-shade to sun-loving flora.


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A perennial flowering plant, columbine thrives in partially shaded gardens and landscape schemes. This makes it a colourful choice for a west-facing garden. The stems of columbine are thin, wispy and long with various blossoms of pink, white and assorted hues. The columbine attracts hummingbirds, bees and other pollinators with its sweet fragrance and bright colours. Plant columbine in bare spots of your garden to fill it out and help with pollinating your other plants. A versatile plant, columbine adapts to a variety of climates and does well in light shade. Planting it in a west-facing garden allows the plant to receive shade in the morning hours and bursts of sunlight during the afternoons in temperate climates.

Bleeding Heart

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A climbing perennial woodland flower, bleeding heart thrives in partially to lightly shaded gardens. The blooms of the bleeding heart, as the name denotes, are heart shaped and velvety in texture. Striking colours of red, pink, white and yellow are common among bleeding heart vines. They prefer humus-rich soil and something on which to climb, such as a trellis or fence. They thrive well in a variety of zones from 2a to 9b on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, meaning that they can tolerate afternoons drenched in sunlight in a variety of climates. This allows them to thrive beautifully in a west-facing garden.


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A low-growing herbaceous plant, the primrose produces delicate sun-tolerant flowers that grow in virtually every colour imaginable. A versatile garden ground cover, primrose thrives well in partial shade throughout the day; however, with adequate moisture, it can withstand direct sunlight. Peat-enriched soil with sand for aeration allows the primrose to thrive and attract hummingbirds, bees and other pollinators. It grows well in zones 5a to 8b, and the somewhat shimmery petals add colourful accents to a sunny west-facing garden.