Leighton Buzzard landscaper helps to give family a dream garden

A landscaper from Leighton Buzzard creates a dream garden for a five-year-old boy so he can play safely outside.

Tuesday, 23rd October 2018, 3:00 pm
Dannielle and Luke with their chidlren in their new garden. Photo by MyBuilder

Steve Morley, who runs his own company, Hardscape, gathered an army of local volunteer tradesman and companies to join MyBuilder.com to create a dream garden for a family who won a competition.

Tristan Timberlake was born with Down Syndrome and then his parents Luke and Dannielle, discovered that he had a congenital heart disease, partial blindness, low muscle tone, and a host of other conditions that set him apart from other children.

Tristan has been through various surgeries, seen a host of doctors and medical specialists, and needs many features around the home to help him get by.

The garden before the makeover. Photo by MyBuilder

Unfortunately for Tristan and his family, their garden in Milton Keynes was a terrain of potholes, overgrown bushes, broken slabs and a badly-filled pond.

In March, MyBuilder.com, a leading online marketplace helping homeowners find tradesmen, teamed up with Dobbies Garden Centres and launched it’s Magical Garden Makeover competition and saw 1,700 homeowners from across the country enter and almost 53,000 members of the public vote for their favourite.

When Tristan’s dad Luke entered the competition, explaining what a usable garden would mean for his family, thousands of people joined the cause, nearly 7,000 people voted for Tristan and his family as the worthiest winners of the makeover.

As Luke put it in his competition entry earlier this year: “The garden is something that Tristan would genuinely benefit from. Somewhere where he could be secure and happy, and be able to play, without us constantly having to worry about his well-being.

Mybuilder.com garden makeover. Photo by MyBuilder

“The garden that we have at the moment we are unable to really use in any capacity (even with supervision), because the nature of Tristan’s vision, muscle tone, and abrupt onset fatigue, simply makes it too dangerous.”

The entry was unanimously chosen as the winner of the £5,000 makeover prize and landscaping expert Steve Morley, volunteered to do the project at no charge and also managed to get a team of volunteer tradesman to help him get the job done.

Steve said: “Getting people to help was easy for me. It was 24 hours of phone calls and more than enough people offered to help, because they’re guys that understand, and wanted to help people who need help. It’s what we do.”

Volunteers cleared and levelled the garden and the team cold start recreating it to a new plan for Tristan and his sister to enjoy.

The children enjoying their new garden. Photo by MyBuilder

Dobbies Garden Centre Milton Keynes donated a beautiful selection of plants and flowers.

Local firms Nuyard Paving and Fencing Centre, Chesham Fencing Supplies Ltd, ArtificialGrass-Direct.com, and WasteKing all donated materials and equipment to help the finished garden be the best it could be.

The finished garden has a raised patio, artificial turf, flower borders and a chalkboard for Tristan and his sister, Ophelia, to express themselves.

Steve said: “We did it in six and a half days, it would normally take about two weeks but we had a lot of help from volunteers.

“It was great to see their reaction to it, really emotional and we were proud to have been able to help them.”

Luke added: “Now we can let them play, because we know they’re going to be safe out here. When we won, which we weren’t expecting to do by a longshot, we were expecting to be happy with it, but if you’d got me to sit there and draw the perfect garden it it wouldn’t have looked anything like this… Which isn’t to say this isn’t perfect - because that’s exactly what this is.”