Until the last few days getting out into the great outdoors and sorting out your garden is probably the furthest thing from most people's minds.  With the strong winds and almost relentless rain we've been experiencing it's fair to say people are probably more likely to be using their ladders to finish building an ark than for anything else! However, the rain is stopping eventually, well, a brief break now until the April showers! And, we'll get (hopefully) a glorious spring, perfect for repairing any storm damage to structures and plants in the garden, as well as getting it ready for summer. It's important to use the right ladder for any job, but in the garden the challenges are the ground surface and needing to have a freestanding ladder.  German manufacturer Hailo offer a superb range of step ladders specifically designed for use in the garden. Wide lawn-suitable spreader bars at the bottom of the front and back sides of the ladder provide stability on grass and other softer surfaces that you will need to work on outside, and extra wide and deep anti-slip treads give a firm stable surface to stand on, keeping you safer even with slippery feet.  They are also just as good indoors as out, as the lawn rails can be easily removed for storage and use indoors, making the whole unit slightly narrower and therefore easier to move about inside. The four tread ladder costs £71.50 including VAT and delivery and has a platform height of 84cm (working reach of 2.6 metres). It is certified to EN131 for domestic and trade use, and will take a load of up to 150 kilos.  All the Hailo home and garden steps are rated to this level. The four tread garden step ladder weighs 5.5 kilos and stores in a space 1.61 metres by 14cm by 65cm, so it can be kept in a utility room, shed or garage.  When open, the step ladder is 1.46 metres tall and the top of the handrail features a moulded tray with bucket hook for tools and equipment.  This ladder has been designed with the home user in mind, as the 13cm deep treads, handrail and tool tray all point to use for maintenance and DIY tasks: they've given you somewhere to keep your secateurs while you prune! The five tread model weighs 6.5 kilos and stores in a space 1.84 metres by 14cm by 65cm, meaning it can be kept indoors or in an outbuilding.  The 1.06 metre platform gives a working reach of 2.8 metres and it stands 1.68 metres tall when open. This model has all the same features as the shorter model, just with slightly more reach.  The five tread garden step-ladder will set you back £85 including VAT and delivery. The six tread model is the tallest available, and the 1.28 metre platform gives a working reach of 3.05 metres, enough for most manageable tall shrubs and trees.  Weighing in at 7.3 kilos it will store in a space 2.08 metres by 14cm by 67cm, so it would probably need to be kept in a shed or garage, but may fit indoors out of the way.  All the Hailo garden step ladders come with a 10 year manufacturer warranty, protecting your investment. The six tread model will set you back £96 including VAT and delivery. These garden step ladders are at home inside the house as well as in the garden, but the special design features of the extra deep treads and lawn spreader bars mark these step ladders out as a great investment.  One step ladder will serve most purposes in and outside the home, so it's like getting two ladders for the price of one.  When the weather lets you out into the garden you will be glad to invest in one of these and make essential maintenance safer and stress free.