The Peterborough Garden Show
"HOW TO GET THE MOST
OUT OF YOUR PEONIES"
Joe and Hazel Cook with their daughter Amy have operated a family owned business, Blossom Hill Nursery since 1994, specializing in the hybridization and propagation of British Delphinium elatum. A second passion has resulted in an extensive peony collection of over 650 varieties including species, tree, herbaceous and intersectional peonies. The Cooks are propagating the peonies, including grafting 100 varieties if tree peonies. They also breed and plan to register their own varieties in future years. This is a lengthy process taking many years.
Blossom Hill delphiniums have won the only two Bronze Medals from the UK Delphinium Society presented in Canada. The Cooks are long term members of the UK Delphinium Society.
In 2013 the Cooks donated one plant of each of the 600 varieties of their peony collection to Whistling Gardens in Norfolk County. This ensures that the collection will remain together for the enjoyment of the public for future generations.
Hazel’s 2014 peony entries at the American Peony Society convention flower show won 2 Certificates of Merit for new seedlings, 4 Court of Honours and the Grand Champion for the peony ‘Illini Belle’. The next weekend in Winnipeg at the Canadian Peony Society convention, the peonies from Blossom Hill won 4 Court of Honours and the Grand Champion trophy for ‘Bartzella’.
This was the third Canadian championship and a repeat win for Hazel. In 2013, her Garden Treasure’ won and her ‘Bartzella’ was also the champion in 2009.
In 2015, Blossom Hill Nursery was the honoured with the Peterborough County Recognition Award for ‘Business Leadership/ Entrepreneurial Innovation’.
The Cooks are active members of many horticultural organizations. Hazel is a director and the corresponding secretary of the American Peony Society.
Blossom Hill is located just north of Peterborough in Selwyn Township and has perennial display gardens as well as 5000 peonies and trial beds in the field for over 1000 delphiniums.'