150+ Canadians Day 107: Gardening Professionals

Canada’s Gardening professionals provide inspiration and elbow grease to make public spaces beautiful.

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”   –  Luther Burbank

Professional gardening gurus such as Lois Hole (former Lieutenant Governor of Alberta) of Alberta and Ed Lawrence and Mark Cullen of Ontario and their peers have assisted countless people with finding peace and enjoyment through gardening throughout Canada.

Lois Hole and her husband Ted helped countless Canadians to garden in cold climates. Their Hole’s Greenhouses & Gardens Ltd. in St. Albert, Alberta, Lois’s countless gardening books and “can do” attitude brought gardening to many Albertans who otherwise wouldn’t have broken ground. Hole’s opened in 1979 and remained one of Western Canada’s largest retail greenhouse stores until it closed in early 2011 when the Hole family moved the operation to their new site on the edge of Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park, and opened the Enjoy Centre. She was a thought after and humorous speaker, who always had a good gardening anecdote at the ready.

Lois held many honourary degrees and became a member of the Order of Canada in 1999. She died in 2005.

Ed (“40 parts water, 1 part soap”) Lawrence is a retired head gardener to six Canadian Governors General and Prime Ministers. During his 30 years of outstanding achievement in the field of Canadian horticulture, Ed’s responsibilities included not only the oversight of the 85 acre historic grounds and greenhouses of Rideau Hall, but of all six official residences under the authority of the National Capital Commission, including those of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

For more than two decades his phone-in radio show for CBC Ontario has been tremendously popular, even with people who don’t garden.  Ed has written gardening columns for newspapers throughout the Ottawa Valley and a weekly column for the Toronto edition of the newspaper, The Globe and Mail. His keen interest in the experience of Canadian gardeners is unwavering, and every year his knowledge helps countless Canadians get into the garden.

In 1988 he won Landscape Ontario’s Garden Communicators’ Award for his broadcasting work and in 2000, Ed was the recipient of the prestigious Award of Merit from the Ontario Horticultural Association.

Gardening advocate, Mark Cullen reaches over two million Canadians every week through print and radio outlets. He delivers a message that is compelling, fun, informative, inspirational – all based on his sustainable approach to gardening.

Mark writes a ‘gardening feature’ column for the Toronto Star, and his weekly garden/environment column appears in more than 30 newspapers in 6 provinces. His radio show, ‘The Green File’, airs five times per week on six radio stations across Canada. Mark is a best-selling author with over 20 books in print, including his most recent The New Canadian Garden, and is the gardening editor for the Harrowsmith Canadian Almanac, Harrowsmith Garden Digest, and is garden-editor of Active Life Magazine and Reno and Décor Magazine.

He is a spokesperson for many organizations, including being Founding Chair, Highway of Heroes Living Tribute, which has as its goal: to plant 117,000 trees on the Highway of Heroes, 401 CFB Trenton to Keele St., Toronto, to honour Canada’s fallen in war since WWI.

He is the recipient of many honours, including the Order of Canada in 2016. 

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