SHAMED Farnborough landscape gardener Andrew Sharpe tried to shift the blame this week after being exposed on the BBC's 'Rogue Traders' programme.
He claimed it was Heather Welch's fault that he left her garden like a tip after she and her husband, Julian, had paid him £50,000 up front to redesign it.
'She kept making so many alterations she drove me almost to a nervous breakdown', said Mr Sharpe, who trades as Premier Landscaping and Maintenance. 'I couldn't carry on, and I was on medication for a month and a half after working for her.'
He also claimed it was 'naivety' that led him to use the Institute of Groundsmanship logo on his advertisements when he was not a member.
'I was head groundsman at the Henley Regatta and used to go to the institute's annual show, so I assumed I could use their logo,' he said.
And he was not worried at having been struck off by the Guild of Master Craftsmen who, he said, had been misled by the BBC.
Mr Sharpe and his partner Joanne Williams run the business from their home in Ship Lane, Farnborough.
In last Friday's 'Rogue Traders' programme an independent consultant condemned Mr Sharpe's standard of work and said he had also grossly overcharged the Welch's. He said the job at their six-bedroom home at Medstead should have cost a maximum of £32,000, a view supported by another landscape consultant called in by the couple.
Mrs Welch dismissed Mr Sharpe's attempts to defend himself as 'rubbish'. She added: 'If anyone was going to have a nervous breakdown, it was me.' She said he had left them with a half-turfed lawn, a subsiding drive, crooked fencing, dead plants and incorrectly laid paving slabs alongside the swimming pool.
After pocketing £50,000, Mr Sharpe asked for a further £8,800 which the Welch's refused to pay. Instead they had to pay another contractor £10,000 to rescue the job.