In garden design a tint is simply a colour to which contains white making it appear lighter.  When dealing with paint on the exterior of your house, or on garden furniture, you can easily experiment with this by mixing white with your chosen colour.

In theory a tint will begin with a fully saturated colour and end up as white, as you add more and more white to the mix.

tintandshade 300h opt

A shade is achieved by adding black to a colour in order to make it less light than it already is.  Again when using paint you can easily experiment by beginning with a fully saturated colour and adding black to make it darker.

In theory shade will begin with a fully saturated colour and end up being black as you work through the process of adding more and more black to the mix.

The above is offered as a guideline to help you understand tint and shade.  It is of course, unless you are a plant breeder, not possible when selecting plants to mix their flowers together to create ones that are lighter or darker.  To chose tints successfully you will need to spend some time carefully looking at the flowering plants in your local nursery or garden centre.  Identify your starting colour and then look for some lighter tints or darker shades of that colour.

It may be easier when selecting tints or shade in flowering plants to identify these characteristics in the same type of plant, rather than changing to different plants each time.  It can be time consuming to get it right but it can be a very effective way to achieve some useful effects in your Garden Design, for instance:

  • To gradually lighten or darken a liner or three dimensional space
  • To make a transition from dark to light
  • To combine with the texture of you plants to create perspective
  • To reflect seasonal changes
Your next step is to learn about Colour Schemes in your Garden Design.