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Our History

We’ve come a long way.

Since 1984, we've worked with hundreds of clients
in the Annapolis Valley, turning their visions into reality.
Down to Earth Gardening Ltd.
was founded
Down to Earth Gardening Ltd. was started in 1984 by Kari Hjelkrem and Catherine Harvison.
Landscape NS awards our work
for the first time
Since 1997, we have won at least two awards every year for our work.
Future owner Darren Loner joins the team
Darren quickly became a fundamental member of our team, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience.
First Red Seal certified landscapers
Kari Hjelkrem and Darren Loner became two of the first in the province to write and pass the Red Seal test.
First in NS to
register apprentices
In 2012, we were the the first company to register apprentices in this trade. We've played an integral role in the success of the apprenticeship program ever since.
Lauren Fry joins as business manager
Lauren joined the team in 2013, helping us find our vision and improve our day-to-day operations.
New HQ is built in Port Williams
We purchased a piece of land and began the construction of a new headquarters for our team.
Darren & Lauren purchase Down to Earth
In 2018, ownership of Down to Earth changed hands. Since then, we've been working hard to maintain the quality of work our customers have come to expect.
Down to Earth rebrands
Early in 2020, we launched our new brand.
Our website also got an overhaul.
Our Team
We're a team of passionate landscapers.

Lauren Fry

Lauren grew up in the Annapolis Valley. After completing a business degree at UNB and spending the subsequent eight years working in Halifax she moved back home in 2013 to work with Down to Earth.

Lauren’s presence and business knowledge has helped to round out the team at Down to Earth. It has inspired her to learn more not only about the landscape business but horticulture in general. In 2015, Lauren was elected to the Board of Landscape Nova Scotia and in 2016 Lauren became a Certified Landscape Manager (CLT) .

In 2018, Lauren and Darren officially became co-owners of Down to Earth. Lauren is the current President of Landscape Nova Scotia, Chair of the Skills Canada Committee, and sits on both the Human Resources and Professional Development committees of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association.  Lauren is learning to be a gardener, enjoys working with clients on design elements and product choices for their landscapes. 

Darren Loner

Darren grew up in the Annapolis Valley and from a young age knew he wanted a career that would allow him to be creative, active and outside. 

Darren began his journey as a landscaper in 1989 when he accepted a position for Price Brothers Cobblestone in Hantsport, NS. After working there for five years, Darren decided to enrol in the Horticultural program at NSCC Kingstec Campus. After completing his diploma in 1996, he joined Down to Earth as a Landscape Technician. Since that time, Darren has worked hard to become the best in the industry, participating in all educational opportunities, achieving his CLT and becoming one of the first in Nova Scotia to obtain his Red Seal as a Landscape Horticulturist.

Darren is actively involved with Skills NS as a mentor and judge, he’s taught various workshops and is a true advocate of horticultural education. Darren is an extremely talented installer and his work has won many awards.

Darren’s hard work finally paid off in February 2018 when he officially became co-owner of Down to Earth. Darren currently resides in the Gaspereau Valley with his wife and two young daughters.

Ready to work together?

Reach out now to start your next project.