Q: I'd like to construct some retaining walls in my garden, but I have no natural rocks, and I'm not prepared to mortgage my house to hire a mason to construct a fine rock wall. Brick is too formal and wood warps. Any ideas?
A: Two possibilities come to mind. Construct a cinder block wall and face it with sculptured rock, available at many building supply centers. This man-made concrete rock is surprisingly attractive and durable.
Another way to build an inexpensive garden wall is with broken concrete. Look for an old sidewalk or patio that's being removed, and stack these pieces like brick. With the broken side exposed, concrete makes a wonderful rugged wall that looks like old stone.