Meet The Team

It’s all about 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.  
To speak to us call our office on 01983 597935

Craig | Company Owner


CRAIG RATCLIFF. Designer, landscaper and gardener.

Founder and company owner. 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 and friends and keeping active with various sports. He enjoys a plant based diet and aspires for the gardening business to not only be organic- but to be Veganic!

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 | Head Garden Designer


WARREN OLDERSHAW. Garden designer, gardener and plant-person.

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, tranquillity and fun…

 


David | Head Gardener


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.

 


Judith | Head Gardener


JUDITH BETCHLEY. Head gardener, plants-person and gardening staff 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.

 


GEORGE MILFORD. Garden Supervisor.

George Milford | Garden Supervisor
George | Garden Supervisor

George starting working with C.A.R. Gardens in August 2023.


ED STILES. Gardener.

Ed starting working with C.A.R. Gardens in August 2023.


BEN HARVEY. Garden Supervisor and Health and Safety Officer.

Ben | Garden Supervisor

Ben started working with C.A.R. Gardens in March 2023. Ben came to us with 15 years horticultural and grounds maintenance experience, 5 of which to management capacity, whilst working at Robin Hill Country Park, a horticulturally award winning tourist attraction.

Ben is well placed to be one of our garden supervisors, to help ensure a high standard of service is delivered to all of our customers. He also brings with him a high level of health and safety knowledge and expertise, having been H&S manager in a previous job.

Ben has a level 3 BTEC National Certificate in Horticulture, for which he achieved a Distinction- Merit with special recognition for his design work and continues to develop his career with qualifications such as NPTC Level 2 award in chainsaw work.

When not at work, Ben enjoys family time, together discovering more about the Isle of Wight’s natural beauty.

Horticulture has the ability to bring happiness and comfort and I find that really empowering. Combining this with an ability to express yourself through a planting medium is something I find fascinating.

ROB MEW. Office Manager.

Rob | Office Manager
Rob | Office Manager

Rob started working with C.A.R. Gardens in May 2023. The large majority of Robs previous working career of 35 years, has been devoted to teaching and training students in horticulture at the Isle of Wight College. Many of his students have moved onto fantastic careers within the industry.

Robs roles and responsibilities grew from teaching to management, being responsible for various teams and students within different departments. Liaising with the large majority of horticultural employers Rob has strong bonds with the local industry.

Rob is a keen gardener and plantsman with a key focus on garden design. In 2006 he was awarded the Sir Harold Hillier Award for horticultural contribution to the Island. He has many horticultural and educational certificates, including a Higher National Certificate Horticulture (Garden Design).

Rob enjoys walking, visiting gardens and photography.

I have always believed being organised and being able to communicate well are the fundamentals of being a good teacher and a manager.


JACK BOAKES. Gardener and Landscaper.

Jack started working with C.A.R. Gardens in January 2024.


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