Unique plants produce flowers which fry in the heat which the sun gives off in the day. For these flowers, a western exposure may mean certain death. A garden with a Mediterranean exposure — where the sun shines on the ground at the morning and is blocked by structures or trees at the day — is ideal for those flowers. Fortunately for the eastern exposure gardener, a great many flowers thrive under these circumstances.
Fernleaf yarrow (Achillea filipendulina), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9 does not seem to be especially delicate. Flowering from summer through autumn, this sunny yellow member of the aster family enjoys full sunlight but thrives as well with an eastern exposure. If you demand a number of color in your eastern exposure garden, then think about the pelargonium (Pelargonium spp.) Although commonly called “geranium” at gardening centres, pelargoniums belong to an entirely different genus. Hardy at U.S.D.A. zones 10 and 11, pelargoniums bloom in pink, white, salmon and red, and can be purchased in the single- and also double-blooming varieties.
Impatiens provides the eastern exposure garden an explosion of color. These yearly beauties bloom in small white, purple, maple and red flowers. Impatiens enjoys the colour so should do quite well in the eastern-exposure bed. For an even bigger color palette, think about growing begonias. These flowering annuals are native to the forest understory; consequently, although their maintenance requirements vary by species, most thrive in regions with morning sun and afternoon shade.
The Pacific dogwood (Cornus natalli) is a deciduous tree which grows from 20 to 50 feet in height. Spring and summer are present times for this particular dogwood, when it blooms in small white flowers which make the tree seem to be covered in snow. On top of that , this shrub thrives in shady spots and requires little maintenance. The western redbud (Cercis occidentalis), takes on a shrubby appearance if left alone, so it is usually trained into a small tree. It grows 12 to 20 feet in height with an equal spread and also bears striking bright pink blossoms in early spring.
No self-respecting east-facing garden would be complete without at least one hydrangea bush. Whether you choose one that blooms in the enormous circular blossoms (H. macrophylla) or the panicles of this H. paniculata, the hydrangea is the quintessential eastern exposure flowering plant. Hardiness zones for hydrangeas depend on species. The popular “Annabelle” (H. arborescens) grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, while H. macrophylla prefers the warmer zones: USDA 6 and above. Other flowering shrubs that thrive with morning sun and afternoon shade include the rhododendron and the camellia, which are hardy in USDA zones 8 and 9, respectively.