But AMA said positive underlying drivers for the market focus around several themes, including "improve not move", interest in grow your own and the garden as an extension of living space.
The paving and walling sector declined by 20 per cent in the 2009-11 period. But a range of products incorporating drainage features alongside hardstanding have appeared in response to new planning rules in 2008 and recovery is forecast for 2013-16.
The pots and planters market performed well in 2009-11, maintained by continued interest in grow your own, with annual growth of two-to-three per cent forecast over the next few years.
Key distribution channels are garden centres and DIY multiples, with a combined share of 60 per cent.
Prospects for 2012-13 are for low growth, AMA added, but stronger recovery was forecast for 2014-16.