Some ornamental shrubs, climbers and perennials do not fare so well on exposed northern sites.
However, in gardens where judicial ornamental tree and shrub planting has filtered the wind and created a friendly micro-climate, you can find the occasional plant surprise.
Walls that absorb solar heat and release it gradually over the course of a day were tailor-made for such plants.
The passion flower (passiflora caerulea) climbs and remains in bloom over several months under glass in the north. When planted outdoors it will grow well but you can’t rely on it to flower.
Imagine the surprise last year then, when it raced over a south- facing brick wall at The Alnwick Garden and was covered in bloom and fruits. Furthermore, some of those fruits were fertile.
Never let the words ‘not suitable for growing outdoors in the north’ put you off trying a plant you fancy.