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17 September 2014
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how to be a gardener - The complete online guide

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1 - Assessing your plot
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The importance of light
Put bluntly, plants die without sunlight. Sunlight is the ‘engine’ that powers growth - a process called photosynthesis.

In the wild (which is where most garden plants come from) light levels vary. Being cunning little chaps, different plants evolved to thrive in different levels of light. Clearly the amount of light your garden gets will have a big impact on what plants grow well.
Garden aspect
The overall amount of light received depends on aspect, the direction your garden faces. Use a compass.
  • North-facing gardens get the least light and can be damp
  • South-facing gardens get the most light
  • East-facing gardens get morning light
  • West-facing gardens get afternoon and evening light
Interactive iconPlay the Light levels challenge to find out more about choosing the right plants for your aspect.
Watch the clipWatch the video clips about the importance of light and light levels research.
1. Know your plot

Assessing your plot
Analysing your soil
Drawing a survey
Test your knowledge
Go further

Plant lists Plant lists
Plants for different lighting conditions:

Find thousands more plants in the BBC Gardening database.
Video Video
Why is light so important to your plants?
Test your knowledge of planting in different lighting conditions. Or find out how to test your soil.
Requires Flash 5

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