Hugh Knowles (1920—2008)
Knowles was an internationally respected landscape architect and horticultural scientist at universities in Ontario, Alberta and Michigan. Through his long career, starting in 1948, Knowles served as professor in both disciplines at the University of Alberta as well as holding the post of superintendent of the university’s grounds. In that job, as the university’s president noted, he transformed the campus into a veritable park.
In the hands of this much-honoured teacher and practitioner, the disciplines of horticulture and landscape architecture worked together with sometimes stunning results. Hugh Knowles’ interests were broad. They could span concurrently such widely divergent subjects as turfgrass, softwood apple cuttings, euonymus, junipers and other woody ornamentals.
His book, Woody Ornamentals for the Prairies, went into several printings and was long the definitive work for tree enthusiasts in western Canada, while his work in turf research was also widely sought after both nationally and internationally. He received many honours and citations for his work. In 1984, Knowles was awarded a fellowship in the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects and received the University of Alberta Alumni Association's honour award in 2004.
Alex Munro (1895—1966)
Known as “Mr. Gardener” for much of his career, Alex Munro was involved with the planning of several parks, including Memorial Park, Riley Park, Reader Rock Garden and Glenmore Park. He was a household name, though, thanks to his informative and popular weekly gardening column in the Calgary Herald, which he began writing in 1955, and to his 1961 book, the Calgary Herald Gardening Book, which sold 18,000 copies.
Alex Munro was a young Scottish gardener who arrived in Alberta in 1920. He went first to Edmonton, where he hoped to homestead, but ended up heading south after being advised that Calgary was a better place for gardeners.
In 1923 he joined the Calgary parks department, became head gardener in 1929, and city parks superintendent 20 years later. When he retired in 1960 a plaque was erected in his honour at the Senator Patrick Burns Rock Garden.