A concrete wall is practical, inexpensive to build and an effective way to block out unpleasant noises, such as street sounds. Unfortunately, a plain concrete wall in the garden can stick out like a sore thumb amid all of your lush landscaping and carefully designed outdoor spaces. Some ideas for improving the look of a concrete wall can be done easily in a day, while others take more planning to execute properly.
Stain the wall with concrete stain. Remember that concrete stain is a mixture of metallic salts, acid and other ingredients that change the colour of the concrete by causing a chemical reaction. Wear protective clothing, including gloves, goggles and close-toed shoes and follow all of the manufacturer's instructions for your product.
Paint the wall a solid colour that complements your home's exterior. Apply a faux paint finish that makes the concrete look like stones, or paint a mural on the wall. Use paints that are specialised for exterior use on masonry.
Secure a trellis on the wall and plant a quick-growing vine, such as honeysuckle, to cover the trellis. Some vines, like English ivy, are such hardy climbers they don't even require the support of a trellis.
Hang a series of interesting picture frames, old window frames or assorted scraps of metal on the wall and turn it into your personal modern art display.
Place colourful pots of trailing herbs and flowers, such as wave petunias or woolly thyme, along the top of the wall. The wall itself will be less noticeable, as the colours and textures of the plants will take the focus.
Apply a layer of stucco over the concrete. Stucco is a textural, plaster-based finish that is often applied to the exterior of Spanish-style homes. A confident home renovator can refinish a cement wall with stucco, or hire experts to do the job.
Refinish the wall with decorative tile. Apply random squares of colourful tile to give the wall a whimsical look, tile the entire wall in a traditional outdoor material, such as saltillo tile, or design a tile mosaic to cover the whole surface.