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Garden competition reveals Britain’s worst gardens

Jackie Scriven

Every time we have managed to save a bit towards doing the garden, something has happened....’s £1,000 garden makeover competition explodes the myth that Britain is a nation of avid gardeners.

Every time we have managed to save a bit towards doing the garden, something has happened....

Lisa Marie Bolland’s garden is so wet that when it rains you need fisherman’s waders to prune the shrubs… And if you were to cut the grass, flippers and a diving board would be more useful than a mower. From Sandbach, Cheshire, Lisa Marie needs help to restore her mud bath to its once glorious self. Until last summer’s floods her garden wasn’t the stuff of Chelsea Flower Show prizes, but it was a garden her kids could enjoy.

“Ever since the bad rain we had at the end of last year our garden has been a mud bath. We have 3 children under 5 and as we live on a main road they can't play in the front garden. We have run out of cash to do anything with it…”

Whilst the great and the good are turning their attention to Chelsea and designer dreams, Lisa Marie is setting her sights on winning a gardening competition. Winning the £1,000 prize in this big-hearted online competition is the only chance of recovering her own little bit of paradise. But to win this prize Lisa Marie, and her garden, need votes.

Launched by on date the competition has already attracted over 125 entries and 4,000 votes. It will run until May 29th with voting continuing a further week.

Jackie Scriven is another homeowner looking to win this much coveted £1,000 prize. Her garden isn’t underwater, it’s under siege. She’s weed rich and cash poor.

“You can see it’s in an awful state…Every time we have managed to save a bit towards doing the garden, something has happened: car broke down, then the washing machine and then I lost my part time job!” says Jackie of Broseley, Shropshire.

It seems gardens suffer when their owners do. And wants to help one lucky winner get their garden back on track. Entries so far tell of gardens suffering because of redundancy and divorce; heart attacks, stroke and cancer. Life changing events and extreme weather take their toll on Britain’s back gardens.

"At MyBuilder, we’re passionate about helping homeowners find the right tradesman,” says Ryan Notz, founder and CEO. “It’s upsetting when we come across homeowners who don’t have the means to hire a tradesman, so we feel it’s our duty to help out when we can. The hardest part is choosing a winner, which is why we’ve enlisted the public to vote."

» View all competition entries at

Email for more stories, to get in touch with your area’s wishful gardeners or to interview Ryan Notz.

About is an online marketplace that brings tradesmen and homeowners together, offering a sophisticated platform that promotes and supports high-quality work. Householders post job and our registered and vetted tradesmen respond. MyBuilder was founded in October 2004 by former stonemason Ryan Notz, in his garage in Bristol and is now run from offices in East London.

MyBuilder works on a principle of accountability through feedback. Our tradesmen are rated on their workmanship by those who hire them, making it easier to find high quality builders and for builders to find good quality jobs.