I think you deserve to have this unpacked for you, since you made the effort to compete. So I will oblige.
First, the doodles. The idea of the contest was to make best use of the doodles to build your adventure. A single doodle on the cover, I would not call "making best use" of them. True you used one with a tree and then also had a tree element in your adventure, but you clearly stated in the room keys that the leprechaun's tree house was concealed with an illusion so as to be indistinguishable from normal foliage - so the doodle you did use wasn't even the same as what anyone playing the adventure is going to see. I'd consider that basically an abandonment of the doodles, with a single one kinda half-heartedly chosen because it had a small element in common with something already in the adventure (which incidentally, I suspect you had already written up when the contest was announced, but I won't go so far as to accuse you of anything shifty; it's fine to save yourself some work, but perhaps a final pass to better incorporate the doodles was in order, yes?)
BTW before delving into the second point, I want to point out that I did get your "making an ash out of you" pun; that's not the spelling error I was referring to. There's a couple of misspelled or misused words I came across; just as an easy example, on Page 1, first paragraph of "Garden Map General Notes", you mentioned that the garden is a pentagon when you meant to say pentagram. But again, I never hold errors like that against an author (unless I'm paying for the product).
To the second point, re. conventional adventures vs. unconventional adventures. I'm going to go out on a limb here and make another guess by saying you haven't read through much of Bryce's reviews on 10footpole, yes? If so, you'd see where I'm coming from right away. Bryce is (in)famous for not cutting any slack to generic stuff. Read through his "The Worst EVAR?" category reviews if you want a quick crash course on what I mean. I know I was judging this contest, but we are all on Bryce's forum, and so we are all somewhat adherent to the tenants of good adventure design he touts. If it were Bryce judging this, he would have likely been far less kind about things than I was. But that's not your contention; we aren't here to discuss what Bryce would think about this. We are discussing why I came to the conclusions I did.
Genericism has its place, but its place is not in a showcase contest to display creative writing prowess. That's the fundamental issue most people have when they buy a module only to discover that it's a common/generic adventure - they think "this is something I could have made on my own in five minutes. Why did I pay money for this?" Yes, conventional adventures can still be fun for people who have never played much of the game and so haven't already burned through all the tropes and seen all the clichés. But you are on a forum for people who literally write adventures, in many cases professionally. We've seen it all here. Conventional just isn't going to impress anyone anymore. Any other judge I could haul in here would say the same.
Regarding your issue with the pond - nobody likes reasonable ecological plausibility more than I do. I never put something in a dungeon without giving thought to how it could possibly live there. I get the purpose of the pond; my gripe is not so much that it's there as a tool to support life, but rather in the sense that it was a missed opportunity to spice up an otherwise bland locale. I say this objectively - there is nothing wonderous about the tunnels under the garden. The writing had led us to believe that the laird was protecting the world from some great power by sealing away the tunnels under the garden with mystical energies, but absolutely none of the came through in your adventure design. The pool was a chance to redeem the expectations of that vibe (a fountain of youth? the deadliest curse? some sort of avatar for a water goddess?), but it was like everything else down there, nothing special. You mentioned "a portal to the underworld" down there - why not make the pond a literal portal? So to reiterate the point, my disappointment is not the existence of the pool, but rather the waste of potential for something neat. This was the general theme of things - the cave crickets and tube lichen likewise sound tantalizing, but in the end they are just mundane, and the players can't really do anything with them. If the crickets were carnivorous swarmers and the lichen tubes were somehow incorporated into a combat encounter, then you'd have caught some attention!
Finally, to your argument that there is a place for conventional. I'd agree... just not in a contest being judged on a forum of professional creative writers. If you entered a World's Biggest Pumpkin contest with a normal pumpkin, yes you could argue that normal pumpkins still serve a purpose in this world, but you're missing the point of the contest. Maybe I'm partly to blame for not stipulating that we are looking for entries that will "wow" us all, but I'd honestly felt it goes without saying. You can't wow people with conventional. To your point about the missionary position: Missionary is great, but if we were having a sex contest, you'd want to be busting out some backwards flying lotus position, not missionary.
Hope that clears up your issues. I can sense you have the potential for something much more fantastical if you oriented yourself towards it, you just didn't do it in this case. I'd encourage you to enter the next contest so you can show us what you've got when you're aligned for contest writing.