Concrete slabs are often used around homes as walkways and patios. The concrete is a durable building material, but it can also be plain looking. One way to make them look nicer is to landscape the area surrounding the concrete. Landscaping the area near the slab can soften the lines between the slab and the lawn, and make the patio or walkway feel more welcoming.
One easy, fairly inexpensive way to improve the landscaping around a concrete slab is to plant flower beds. Planting a variety of different flowers can brighten the area around the slab with different colors and scents. Using a variety of annuals and perennials saves you money by preventing you from having to replace all of your plants every year while not leaving your flower beds completely barren during the winter. Shrubs and bushes usually take up large amounts of space in the beds They are perennials and can act as a wall, providing a frame for the slab while blocking it from being seen. You can also purchase mulch for the beds in a variety of colors, so you can choose a color that compliments your home's exterior.
Installing a water feature around the concrete slab can help detract attention from it. Placing a fish pond or water garden alongside the slab provides something for people to look at, and the slab provides a platform for them to stand on as they watch the fish swimming in the pond. A pond with a waterfall can be relaxing for some people, as they enjoy the sights and sounds of water flowing over the rocks. Constructing shallow pools alongside the slab and placing lights inside can enhance the appearance of the slab at night.
Building walls around the edge of the slab serves a dual purpose: it blocks the view of the slab from the outside of the wall, while creating a frame around the slab, which can work extremely well if the slab is being used as a patio. A low wall also provides a place for people to sit and a ledge to place food and drinks. When choosing what material to build the wall with, your options include brick, concrete pavers and natural stone.
Installing lighting can improve the appearance of the slab at night. One way to use lighting is to use it to accent other landscaping features such as plants, walls and ponds. Placing lights strategically in conjunction with these other features can take the viewer's focus off of the plain concrete slab and onto the landscaped areas. You can install spotlights that point upward, highlighting the wall or plants, or place small walkway lights around the perimeter of the slab to frame it. Another option is shining spotlights onto the slab and placing colored filters over the spotlight lenses to bathe the slab in different colors.