Designing a Secluded North Facing Garden Patio: Tips and Ideas for Ground Floor and Split Level Homes

A patio may be outside the cards if you have a north-facing garden. After all, north-facing gardens tend to be shadier and cooler than their south-facing counterparts. It can be challenging to find plants that thrive in these conditions. However, with creativity and design savvy, you can create a beautiful and functional patio space that offers privacy, comfort, and style.

This article will explore some of the best ideas and tips for designing a secluded north-facing garden patio, whether you’re working with a ground-floor space or a split-level design. We’ll cover everything from choosing the right plants to incorporating unique privacy solutions so that you can create a beautiful and functional patio.

Creating a Private Patio Space

One of the biggest challenges in designing a north-facing garden patio is creating a sense of privacy. After all, you don’t want to feel like you’re sitting in the middle of a fishbowl, with neighbors or passersby able to see everything you do. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to create a secluded patio space:

  • Use tall plants or hedges as natural screens. Evergreen shrubs like yew, holly, or boxwood can provide a year-round screen that blocks unwanted views while adding greenery to your patio.
  • Incorporate water features or other elements to create sound barriers. A fountain, waterfall, or a simple tabletop water feature can mask noise and create a more tranquil atmosphere.
  • Choose furniture and decor that provides privacy without sacrificing style. Consider using a trellis or lattice panel to create a partial screen. Invest in outdoor curtains or shades that can be drawn closed when you want more privacy.

Incorporating Split-Level Features into Your Patio Design

Another option for designing a north-facing garden patio is to incorporate split-level features, which can add visual interest and help create distinct zones for different activities. Split-level patios are a popular choice for homes with sloping or uneven terrain. Still, they can also work well on flat ground. Here are a few design ideas to consider:

  • Create distinct zones for different activities. For example, you could have a dining area on one level and a lounging area on another, separated by a set of steps or a low retaining wall.
  • Use steps or slopes to connect different levels. This can create a more organic, natural feel while also making it easier to navigate the patio space.
  • Add built-in seating or storage. Built-in benches or shelves can help make the most of your space while providing functional seating or storage.

Best Plants for North-Facing Garden Patios

When choosing plants for a north-facing garden patio, you’ll want to focus on species that thrive in cooler, shadier conditions. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Ferns, hostas, and other shade-loving perennials. These plants are easy to care for and can add a lush, verdant feel to your patio.
  • Climbing plants like ivy, honeysuckle, or clematis. These can be trained to grow up trellises or walls, adding a vertical element to your patio design.
  • Winter-blooming shrubs like camellias or witch hazel. These can add color and interest to your patio even in the cooler months.

Color and Material Ideas for North Facing Garden Patio Designs

Finally, when designing your north-facing garden patio, you’ll want to consider the colors and materials you use. This can help create a cohesive, inviting atmosphere that feels comfortable and welcoming. Here are a few ideas to consider: 

  • Warm or bright hues that add energy and vibrancy. Shades like orange, yellow, and red can create a sense of warmth and comfort in your patio space.
  • Natural materials like stone, wood, or rattan create a cozy and organic feel. These materials can add texture and interest to your patio while blending seamlessly with the natural environment of a north-facing garden.
  • Contrasting textures or patterns that add visual interest. For example, you could mix and match different types of stone or wood to create a varied, eclectic feel.

Innovative Privacy Solutions for Ground Floor and Split Level Patios

Finally, suppose you’re looking for a truly unique and innovative way to create a private, secluded north-facing garden patio. In that case, there are plenty of options to explore. Here are a few ideas to consider:

Add a retractable canopy or pergola for shade and shelter. This can create a cozy, intimate atmosphere while also providing protection from the elements.

Use hanging planters or trellises to create a vertical garden. This can add a lush, verdant feel to your patio while creating a natural privacy screen.

Incorporate outdoor curtains or shades for a cozy, intimate atmosphere. This can add a soft, romantic feel to your patio space while providing extra privacy.


Designing a secluded north-facing garden patio is a daunting task. Still, with the right ideas and strategies, you can create a beautiful and functional outdoor space where you’ll love spending time. Whether working with a ground-floor patio or a split-level design, consider incorporating elements like privacy screens, split levels, and shade-loving plants to create a comfortable, inviting atmosphere. Using color and materials effectively and exploring innovative privacy solutions can create a truly unique and memorable north-facing garden patio.