Black and Tan–a dramatic winter palette

During the summer months, the busy corner where these grasses are on the street side of the fence is nothing special.  In midwinter, however, they made me stop, look and shoot some photos.  This bold color palette would be just as dramatic if there was snow…which there isn’t.

Charcoal fence with tan grasses

There are several colors that would be great for a dark fence like this and could make a combo just as dramatic.  Midwinter is the perfect time for some drama in the garden!

Texture and color is what makes this work

Not all greys and blacks are created equal.  Here are three dark hues that can mimic the fence color but not necessarily read as black or grey–although they are.  All are from my local paint stores, so they’re not exotic or super expensive.  Left to right: the closest to a true black is Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black SW6258, Blacktop 2135-10 from Benjamin Moore has green undertones, and another from Sherwin Williams is Bohemian Black SW6988 that has a decidedly plum cast and would be a strong design statement as a fence stain.

Any of these would make a wonderful background for a variety of plantings and would read as a color in winter and up drama quotient when we need it most.

7 thoughts on “Black and Tan–a dramatic winter palette

  1. Stunning, classic. Imagine that with our intense sunlight and shadows in the SW? I think that I diss browns and grays so much since almost everything in Abq is tan and gray stucco, dark branches, and lacking contrast. You show just how to cure that, just different materials than one can use here. Thanks…

  2. David–Oh, it would be genius in the intense sunlight of the SW! One of the things I like about winter here is the clear, intense light when the sun finally decides to shine!

  3. James–Why not celebrate our winter neutrality and pump it up? Grey, black and tan can really make a huge statement and then fade away when other colors step it up. Glad it was useful to you!

  4. Kari–Of course you can share my photos! Thank you for asking!
    Loree–Sometimes it takes a change in season to make one thing pop that didn’t really pop before.

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