Teamwork. We are a group of talented and creative gardeners living and working on the Isle of Wight. We pride ourselves in being professional in our work and attentive to our customers needs. Combined we have many years of relevant training and experience, qualifications and knowledge, which we can draw upon for your garden or outdoor project.
CRAIG RATCLIFF. Designer, landscaper and gardener.
Owner of C.A.R. Gardens. Craig is a garden designer, landscaper and organic gardener. His interest in gardening formed in childhood whilst helping his stepfather in the family garden. In 1999 Craig started his horticultural career working with ‘Clifton Nurseries’ in Maida Vale and ‘London Gardens’ in Chiswick. In 2004 Craig established his own landscape gardening business, and in 2006 relocated the business with his family to the Isle of Wight. Many gardens later, in 2011 Craig suffered a back injury. Whilst this was life changing, it did give him some valuable space and time to reflect and focus on developing and growing his successful business. C.A.R. Gardens is now a national and local multi-award winning company.
In 2016, Craig enjoyed assisting Matthew Wilson’s team for a day on his RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden. Craig also enjoys spending time with his family, keeping active with various sports and just being at the allotment.
Craig has a BA Honours degree in 3D Design: Ceramics.
“It is my business aspiration to offer and supply the very best in garden design, landscaping and maintenance on the Isle of Wight, whilst creating sustainable, fulfilling and rewarding employment.”
WARREN OLDERSHAW. Garden designer, gardener and plantsman.
Warren is an award winning garden designer, graduating from the Isle of Wight College in 2006 with a diploma in horticulture gaining a double distinction. Since this successful study Warren has worked with C.A.R. Gardens gaining further experience and knowledge in garden design, landscaping and caring for customer’s gardens. In November 2012 The Chemotherapy Garden at St. Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight was awarded a national award, a garden which Warren designed, helped to build and maintained on a regular basis. In 2015 this garden also won a Wight in Bloom Award.
Warren has enjoyed working with and for Alan Titchmarsh on planting plans and landscape designs for his Isle of Wight garden. He is a friend of the ‘Society of Garden Designers’ and has enjoyed a rose pruning course with David Austin.
“…a garden is about visual beauty, but also smell, surprise, tranquility and fun…”
DAVID COOPER. Head gardener.
David joined the C.A.R. Gardens team in early 2011 and brings with him a long career in horticulture. David spent many years working for Guildford Borough Council and Sutherland Memorial Park which gained accolades under his leadership. Before joining C.A.R. Gardens David worked 4 years with another landscaping company on the Isle of Wight.
David has many qualifications in horticulture, turf culture and groundsman-ship, and has successfully completed a Supervisors Development Course. David is our sure-hand.
“I consider myself fortunate to have spent the majority of my life engaged in all aspects of horticulture and turf culture; working in harmony with the seasons and the living landscape.”
SAM BAXTER. Landscape gardener and product designer.
Sam started working with C.A.R. Gardens in March 2008 after completing his A Levels, working along side Craig and Warren and he quickly proved himself as a valuable asset, both in the gardening and landscaping teams. Whilst working full time with us he studied in the evenings to successfully complete a Diploma Level 3 in Site Carpentry.
In 2015 Sam successfully completed a degree in Product Design at Lincoln University, and returned to work with us in January 2016. He has also successfully trained to use a chainsaw. Sam is one of our First Aiders trained in Emergency first aid at work.
“I like enjoying the feeling I’ve done a good days work, and seeing the difference i have made at the end of each day.”
JUDITH BETCHLEY. Plantswoman and team supervisor.
Judith joined us in the summer of 2013 after working 12 years with another gardening company on the Isle of Wight. She is a skilled and professional gardener and a real asset to the company.
Judith has been passionate about gardening since her twenties and has gained horticultural qualifications along the way. Judith was also employed by the Isle of Wight College, working in the horticultural department assessing apprentices and ensuring they gain the qualifications they deserve. Working with us and the college has given her a great opportunity to pass on her knowledge and passion.
In 2016, Judith enjoyed assisting Matthew Wilson’s team on his RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden.
“’Horticulture as a subject I find I am always learning and I aspire for this to continue, …. I am hard working, reliable, professional, skilled, friendly and I like to have a laugh.”
ALEX WILD. Landscape gardener.
During August 2013 Alex and his partner relocated from London to the Island to embark on a very exciting new chapter in his life. A new job with us, a new home, and a new baby!
Alex is a qualified gardener having completed RHS levels 1 and 2 Diplomas, studying in the beautiful surroundings of Regent’s Park. For the 5 years previous to joining us he was busy working for a successful and professional landscape gardening business in central London, overseeing the maintenance department and assisting on landscaping projects. Alex also gained valuable experience and developed his people skills working in a garden centre in North London.
In 2015 Alex was foreman on our successful landscaping project for Alan Titchmarsh’s garden. In 2016 he was foreman for us on a RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden relocation, designed by Matthew Wilson. He has also successfully trained to use a chainsaw.
Aside from his work Alex is a keen and passionate musician and brings with him to the Island his instruments and record decks. Alex has a first class degree in music technology.
“I like to think of myself as not just a tradesman, but a craftsman creating something beautiful that will last and be enjoyed.”
JACOB COTTON. Landscape gardener.
Jake started working with C.A.R. Gardens in February 2015. He soon became a valued member of the company, both in the gardening and landscaping teams, proving himself to be hard working and conscientious.
Jake has a keen interest and practical experience of working in permaculture and has enjoyed living and working in Gibraltar, including caring for the grounds of a several acre private estate.
Whilst working with us Jake is studying to complete a RHS course. He has also successfully trained to use a chainsaw.
“I see horticulture as a lifelong experiment where methods can be continually improved on and knowledge passed down through generations to benefit all who want it.”
ANDY LOCKE. Gardener.
Andy joined the C.A.R. Gardens team in early 2015 and brings with him a long career in horticulture, and remembers helping out in the garden from the age of six. After training at the Isle of Wight College and working at local garden centres, he spent twenty two years working for Wight Salads, twelve as a supervisor and was responsible for overseeing the work of around 20 people. During this time Andy helped with pest and disease monitoring of crops, utilising organic techniques.
Andy is an asset to the company, being reliable, dependable and giving his 100%.
Andy has 3 City and Guilds horticultural and RHS qualifications. He is one of our First Aiders trained in Emergency first aid at work. He has also successfully trained to use a chainsaw.
“I would like to be successful in what I do, continue to improve and learn new techniques, and be proud of what I have achieved.”