Chris Vacher of Vacher Gardens perched on compost bins - essential in every garden maintained by his team.

Chris Vacher – complete gardening solutions

Problems with the garden?  Looking for a specialist? Chances are you need look no further than locally-based horticulturist Chris Vacher.

RHS-trained Chris has assembled a team of experts able to tackle everything from tree surgery, wildflower meadow planting and landscaping to more mundane tasks such as land clearance and general maintenance.

Chris launched his business three years ago and has seen it go from strength to strength. His team work in all environments and offer all year round comprehensive management of everything from small back gardens to large estates and sports grounds.

Chris said: “We offer total solutions. Our clients don’t need to look anywhere else for, say, a drainage expert or for a tree surgeon because that all comes as part of the package.”

3,000 trees

Vacher Gardens currently looks after 23 acres in Hadlow Down including a formal garden with decorative hedging, and informal areas where 3,000 trees have been planted and wildflower meadows have enhanced the fields.

The team has built a cricket pitch there too. And next on the agenda is a vegetable garden.

At Waldron the results of 20 years of neglect are being cleared from a country estate. Already there’s a thriving lawn at the front of the property with a courtyard garden to one side and an orchard with stand-alone trees. Others are trained along walls.

Garden borders

There are spectacular views into woodland from the back of the house and that theme flows into the garden borders. Grass is cut to different levels to add interest.

A drainage system installed by Keith Rowling, a retired civil engineer, has taken away standing water at the bottom of the garden but still left scope for bog planting where there was once a pond.

Keith also designs and constructs raised vegetable beds, walls, steps, patios and decking and even refurbishes sheds.


Drainage expert and garden craftsman Keith Rowling.

Senior gardener Steve Veal is an expert in fine gardening. He is a plantsman, vegetable expert and cares for decorative hedging.

His son, assistant gardener Rob, 23, is developing a specialism in orchards and is also learning about the maintenance of garden and agricultural machinery. He’s planning to go to Plumpton College on a full-time vehicle engineering course in September.


Rob Veal, who is developing a specialism in orchards and is learning about maintenance of machinery.

Apprentice Ciaran Brown, 17, is interested in all types of grass, particularly sports turf, and he enjoys preparing and producing the finest lawns. Ciaran joined the team last July and is planning to start his own business – while  still working with Vacher Gardens – when  he completes his training later this year.


Apprentice Ciaran Brown enjoys preparing and producing the finest lawns.

Engineer Bill Radcliffe looks after all the machinery including mowers,  strimmers  and tractors.

Behind the scenes keeping the accounts up to date is Gaye Neathercott .

Two more apprentices will be joining later this year and another senior gardener will be added to the team.

Garden design

Chris himself has been a keen gardener all his life and has spent considerable time at Plumpton College in recent years.

He was originally a leisure centre manager before taking on the role of sales director for a company supplying children’s indoor play equipment.

His new career  couldn’t suit him better enabling him to combine existing management skills and experience with a hands on passion for the practical opportunities that gardening provides.

Chris is currently studying garden design and is keen to encourage members of his team to expand their own knowledge. Two of them will shortly be going on an outdoor first aid course – to enable them to deal with any emergency arising in the field – and two more are taking a hard landscaping course – all organised by Plumpton College.

If you would like to speak to Chris about how he might be able to help you with your garden, please call 01825 744172 or 07971 313085 or email him at

• Vacher Gardens have a listing in our Uckfield Directory where you can find their contact details 24/7 in categories for Gardeners, Garden Design and Landscaping.

See also:

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