April is here and you are starting to think about planting flowers and vegetables in your east facing garden. Welcome to the club! I love our east-facing backyard with its century-old pines and maples that give it a woodsy feel. We do have to be careful about where we plant our flowers since there is a limited amount of full sun in our backyard.
Although we face east, we don’t start getting sun in our backyard until about 11:30 a.m. As I said, there are many tall trees in our neighbours’ backyards (which I love!) that contribute to blocking out the sun in the early morning. We have full sun in a few areas of our backyard for the early part of the afternoon and then our backyard is in full shade by 3:30 p.m. Fortunately, there are many plants that do well in about three hours of full sun.
When planning your east-facing garden, choose a location that will not be in shade from the shadows of nearby trees, shrubs or buildings. You want your garden to have full access to the limited hours of full sun it receives!
Plants for Three Hours of Full Sun
I have a tall planter on our patio in which I plant annual flowers including dahlias, salvia and Gerbera daisies. I love these particular flowers because they bloom all summer. Further, all of these flowers do well with three to four hours of full sun. Here are some other flowers that will do well with at least three hours of full sun:
Begonias require about three or four hours of full sun and then partial shade. They are definitely a flower you should consider for your east-facing backyard because they prefer the morning or late afternoon sun. We have had begonias in our garden that bloomed all summer so they are a great choice if you need consistent colour in your garden.
Impatiens are another flower that prefer the morning sun; in fact, they will produce more flowers when they receive morning sun and afternoon shade. They require about four hours of full sun. Impatiens come in a variety of colours – you’re sure to find impatiens in the colour you need to complement other flowers and plants in your garden.
Hydrangeas require morning sun and afternoon partial shade and are ideal for an east-facing garden. Hydrangeas, produce flowers in spring and throughout the summer. Plant your hydrangea in the ground, in a raised bed, or in a large container and water them a lot.
Lilies are a great choice for east facing backyards because they grow well in full sun, partial sun and light shade. They also adjust to different soil types and pH levels so you’ll definitely want to plant these gorgeous flowers in your garden.
Other flowers that will do well in your east facing backyard include hollyhock, verbena, peony and yarrow.
Shrubs for East Facing Garden
The following shrubs will do well in your east-facing garden: Nicotiana, Clematis, Yew, Viburnum, Anemones, Dogwood, Jacob’s Ladder and Hosta.
Vegetables for East-Facing Garden
I have to admit that we don’t plant vegetables in our garden. That’s not because there isn’t enough sun because there are many vegetables that thrive on three to four hours of sun each day. The problem for us is we get visited by all kinds of nocturnal animals including raccoons, squirrels, rabbits and who knows what that would enjoy a feast of newly sprouting greens. I know there are raised garden boxes to help prevent critters from munching on your veggies, but we haven’t tried one yet.
Lettuce, Arugula, Chard and Kale
All of these leafy green vegetables will grow with three to four hours of full sun each day.
Vegetables That Grow in Morning Sun
Vegetables that do well in morning sun followed by afternoon shade include carrots, celery and string beans.
Herbs for East Facing Garden
I love growing herbs and have pots of various herbs that I place on our patio each summer. The ones that do well in our east-facing backyard are chives, mint and basil.
Mint needs a few hours of full sun and partial shade so it’s a good herb to plant in an east-facing garden. Mint is another hardy perennial that easily grows back each year when planted in the ground.
These are hardy perennials that can flourish with just four hours of full sun each day so they may be suitable for your east facing garden. Chives have showy flowers in either white, pink, lavender or purple that attract pollinators. Chives are delicious added to salads or omelettes.
Parsley prefers less intense heat so it will do well with morning sun in an east-facing garden.
Part of the mint family, lemon balm prefers a location with partial shade. Lemon Balm, as you guessed, tastes citrusy with a hint of mint. You can use lemon balm when your recipe calls for lemon peel such as in soups, sauces, and seafood. Lemon balm attracts pollinators, in particular, bees to your garden.
What are you planting in your garden this spring? Please let me know in the comment section.