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Gardener goes from pedal to petal
A good day for bike riding is also a good day for gardening.
Luckily for Tracey Loslo she doesn’t have to choose.
That’s because Loslo operates her I-Dig gardening and landscaping business from her bike.
Loslo and her white Dahon folding bicycle attached to the little burlap-lined trailer that carries the implements of her trade are a familiar sight around New Westminster’s Queen’s Park neighborhood. From early spring to late fall, from 7:30 in the morning to as late as 8:00 at night she pedals from client to client, tending flower beds, rehabilitating lawns, pruning trees and shrubs, and even designing whole gardens.
Most of her gardens are in the six-square-block area, although she does have a few customers further afield; it’s not easy pedaling the city’s hills hauling a 150-lb cart filled with a spade, rakes, pitchfork, pruning shears, gloves, a bucket, and organic soil enhancers and fertilizers of her own concoction. She also packs a tablet computer in her panniers to work on her landscaping designs and access her database of gardening information.
In fact, says Loslo, refining her cart and knowing just which tools she needs has been an ongoing process since she started the business in 2010.
“Everything has to earn its place in the cart.”
Loslo was a marketing executive for an international high-tech company when she decided to step away from the rat race and turn her lifelong love for gardening into her vocation. The bike and cart were borne of necessity; she says she didn’t want to sully her beloved 2005 “screaming yellow” Mustang convertible with dirty gardening tools.
It also happens to be great for marketing.
“People see the cart and they see me working and hopefully they remember the name,” says Loslo, 46, who is trained in ecological landscape design, certified as a master gardener and keeps current by attending workshops and courses.
Her cargo limitations also ensure she stays true to her commitment to do all her work by hand, communing with nature and guiding it rather than brutalizing it to her will with powered machines like tillers and leaf blowers.
“It’s so freeing to be a gardener,” says Loslo. “When I’m on my hands and knees digging in the soil, smelling it, you forget about everything.”
So enchanted is Loslo by her new life, she recently sold her Mustang. She needs the space to build a shed to expand her gardening business.
To learn more about Loslo’s gardening service, go to www.i-dig.ca.