Jonathan Denby, who designed a landscape for the Gardening World Cup in Japan, had to drastically rework his idea after Asian quarantine officials found a snail in a box of materials from the Lake District. The entire load had to be shipped back to the UK.
"The Japanese adore the region and I wanted them to see what a real Lake District cottage garden looks like," said Denby, whose design featured sunflowers, a vegetable patch and a red postbox.
"I'm bitterly disappointed this wretched snail has taken away a lot of authenticity."
The Gardening World Cup in Nagasaki last week saw Denby win bronze, Sarah Eberle and Jo Thompson take silver and Australia's Jim Fogarty win gold.
Japanese entrant Kazuyuki Ishihara conceived the idea of the peace- themed show at Huis Ten Bosch, a 17th century Dutch replica theme park the size of Monaco.