Since I don’t live on the equator, or anywhere near it unfortunately, sunlight in my yard shifts seasonally. It’s less this aspect of seasonal light that makes a difference in the garden, and more the changing of the trees and the impact on house plants that matter.
Winter Light/Summer Light
My house has just a sliver of garden on the south side that sees the most dramatic changes in seasonal light. My office window faces south, so I definitely notice more light pouring through it in winter as compared to summer.
For the big swaths of garden I have to the west, east, and even north of the house, the changes are less dramatic. However, because I have a lot of big trees, winter is definitely sunnier.
Unfortunately, all that sun that gets through the bare branches doesn’t do much for my garden. It does reflect off snow and create a brilliant wonderland. In summer, the garden is a pretty patchwork of sunny spots and tree shade.
Houseplants in the Changing the Light
The light that comes in through the windows season by season is more of a consideration for me as the caretaker of houseplants than as a gardener. I don’t like to move them around too much, but we do change positions due to the light a couple times per year.
The garage is on the north side of our house, which means we don’t have many lowlight windows anyway. The southside windows are minimal but important. In my office, my very old friend the philodendron likes to sit on my desk next to the south window much of the year.
I have found, after many years of trial and error, that it prefers to move over to the westside window for winter. The southern light in winter becomes a little intense and has caused some leaf burning.
In the living room I keep a terrarium against one wall that gets brilliant early light from east-facing windows. That’s about all these low-light plants can handle. When winter arrives and the light lessens, I move it a little closer to the window. They go back again for summer.
The most sun-loving plant I ever grew was a jade plant. I had to gift it unfortunately when we got a cat that adores chewing leaves. Before that, I would move the cheerful little succulent around to the sunniest windows. It loved being on my desk in winter, taking in the light, and I loved how it cheered me up in the coldest, snowiest months.