Sally Berry, 78, single-handedly turned her back garden into a beautiful, two-acre paradise.
The former coal board dumping ground is now thriving with nesting swans, kingfishers and geese on a tranquil lake.
Waterfalls trickle down an impressive rockery and Sally has put together a wonderful apple orchard, Manchester Evening News reports.
The garden, in Salford, Greater Manchester, boasts a vast array of wildflowers and plants alongside streams and beside hidden pathways.
It has now been called The Secret Garden and will be open for the public to enjoy over the next three Sundays under the National Garden Scheme.
Sally, who has six grandchildren, has already raised more than £10,000 for cancer charities but intends to reach huger sums.
"It has been fun to design and fun to take on a place that no one else wanted. It was a challenge but I have actually enjoyed it all. It kind of invented itself as it went along," Sally said.
"I have had the most pleasure seeing it change."
The mum-of-three was born in London and evacuated to Cornwall at the start of the Second World War. She believes her childhood of nature and freedom fostered her love of gardening.
Sally's son William, 40, said: "Mum spent virtually every day down there, hacking balsam with a scythe, chopping brambles with a machete and digging paths with a mattock which is a type of shovel.
"After seven years of hard graft, the garden is an absolute success.
"I am amazed at how the land has transformed from a swamp into a paradise. It has been achieved by mum's energy, experience and endless enthusiasm."