Concrete products covered in this article include paving slabs, stepping stones retainer blocks and bird baths.

As Christmas approaches, those of us that live in the warmer climates turn our attention to the outdoors. Gardening is one of the greatest pastimes but if your garden is not level, if there are hills and dales in your garden then runoff is a problem. A sloping piece of land that turns into a muddy torrent when the rains fall has its top soil washed away and in very short order you have a barren scar in the landscape. Also uneven bits that make some areas inaccessible or just uncomfortable to walk can be leveled. With gardens becoming smaller and space more restricted it is essential to use what you have.

Arranging large amounts of soil out the way is so much easier with retainer blocks. Some retainer blocks are flat to accommodate shoring up soil in areas with limited space. Others blocks have large spaces in them. These ‘O’ shaped retainer blocks create gracefully curving walls. They’re tough – once together they make deep spaces that can be filled with lots of rich compost, so you can convert bumpy, uneven areas into cascading flower banks and level lawnmower-friendly ground. A carpet of green edged with bright flowers is possible on hilly ground – it just takes planning and correctly laid retainer blocks.

Never struggle with fluctuating ground, unbalanced lawns and lopsided driveways-just retainer it!

For high retaining (over a metro and a half) there are special retainers that lock one behind the other. They create a strong wall which holds back the soil but lets the water seep through. When building a high wall always use a contractor skilled in erecting this type of structure. A collapsed retainer wall is a huge threat to both you and your neighbors. So choose a builder with a solid reputation.

Bird baths are another addition that you should seriously consider. The variety and shapes that concrete bird baths come in will satisfy any decor. Remember to place the bird bath near a tree or shrub. Birds do not like to expose themselves to hawks, cats and other predators and will seldom swim in a bath far from the safety of a tree or bush. Concrete birth baths are sturdy, last for years and a high pressure hose will quickly rid it of dirt and grime returning it to its original colour and freshness. Once birds discover it you will spend many joyful hours watching them frolicking in the water.