Lois Hole An Alberta icon
Lois Hole may well be one of Canada’s most well-known and iconic gardeners. She, and indeed the entire Hole family, have earned their place in Alberta’s gardening history.
Lois Veregin was born and raised in Saskatchewan. She moved to Edmonton as a teenager to complete her education. Here, she met her husband, Ted Hole. In 1952 they purchased a 200-acre mixed farm at St. Albert, Alta. They tried to raise wheat, then chicks, pigs, turkey and cattle but it was the vegetable garden that proved successful. By 1960, they had begun selling fresh vegetables and then garden supplies from their back door. Their produce and sales gradually became their main business. They built their first greenhouse in 1967; annuals were one of their production staples. Their boys, Bill and Jim, began working the family business and by 1979 they began operating as Hole’s Greenhouses and Gardens Ltd. The business continues to grow and has become one of the largest operations in western Canada.
In addition to being a successful businesswoman, Lois was a bestselling author, penning several books on growing and life in Alberta. Her books were widely embraced by the public, perhaps because they were educational and written in her easy going, common-sense style, or perhaps because of her and her open and caring nature. In addition to best-selling books she contributed articles to the Globe and Mail, Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Sun; submitted Canadian content for the 1999 Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Companion and appeared on CBC TV’S Canadian Gardener as a regular guest.
Lois was an advocate of libraries and education, healthcare and the arts. Always a willing participant, Lois had a genuine interest in helping others. Whether it was smaller greenhouses and growers in small communities around the province who looked to her for advice or her advocacy for a cause, you could count on Lois.
She became involved as a trustee for two school divisions and chancellor of