Peony Collection at Whistling Gardens
Premiere Peony Canadian Collection Reveal
Boosts Agri-Tourism "Flower Power"

The Honourable David C Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Representative of Her Majesty The Queen Special Guest, The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
Representative of Her Majesty The Queen

The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, among other dignitaries, joined us to acknowledge the "Premiere Canadian Peony Collection" donors the Cook Family and David J. Maltby.

Initially over 600 varieties were donated to Whistling Gardens in the fall of 2013. Since then the collection has grown to approximately 1,300 varieties of herbaceous, Intersectional, tree peony and species. It is the largest collection in North America and certainly one of the largest in the world.

In the fall of 2016, a dedicated Peony garden will start construction. Currently the peonies are located in large beds throughout the 20 acres. Dr. Feng, a peony tree breeder from the Beijing Botanical gardens called the collection on his visit to Whistling Gardens one of the most impressive and comprehensive collections he has ever seen.

We hope you will visit and enjoy this truly amazing collection of plants.

CLICK HERE to download our press release.

COLLECTIONS: 600 plants with several one of kind varieties - Mr. David Maltby, Brant County, President of the Canadian Peony Society / 600 species, hybrids and varieties - Mr. & Mrs. Joe and Hazel Cook with their daughter Amy, Blossom Hill Nursery north of Peterborough.


Since the fall of 2013 with the first plantings of donated peonies, the collection now encompasses 1,200 species and varieties. It is the largest collection in North America by far. It is also one of the most complete collections of peonies in the world. A new formal garden was initially planted in 2017 and finished in 2018 with well over 500 varieties. David and the Cooks continue to donate new specimens each season. The Itoh Hybrid collection is moving into the conifer garden.

BLOSSOM HILL NURSERY, The Cook Family 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 600 varieties including species, tree, herbaceous and intersectional peonies. Blossom Hill is located just north of Peterborough and has perennial display gardens as well as 3000 peonies and trial beds in the field for over 1500 delphiniums. Blossom Hill
delphiniums have won the only two Bronze Medals from the UK Delphinium Society presented at the Ontario Delphinium Club field days.

The year 2009 was very exciting for their nursery. Hazel's entry of one of their peonies, a large double yellow intersectional, named "Bartzella", won the Grand Championship at the Canadian Peony Society Convention held at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. Blossom Hill Nursery was also honoured with the "Outstanding Business Achievement Award" from the Kawartha Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Region. The Cooks are active members of many horticultural organizations. Hazel is now a director for the American Peony Society and Joe is the past president of the Ontario Delphinium Club.

David J. Maltby Peony donor, David J. Maltby is a well-respected Canadian general practice lawyer in Brantford, Ontario. As the current President of the Canadian Peony Society and Past President and current board member of the Ontario Regional Lily Society. He is the 2012 recipient of the North American Lily Society Regional (NALS) Medal, acknowledging his outstanding service to the horticulture and the Ontario Regional Lily Society.

Growing accolades are numerous, Best in Show, along with many other major awards, have extended his long winning streak. His respectful peers know him best as 'a good gardener'. He made this donation so that it would be available for the public to enjoy! The David J. Maltby Peony Collection will be proudly enjoyed by thousands of guests as a result of his generosity to donate his personal collection of approximately 600 peony plants with several one of kind cultivars and varieties to Whistling Gardens.

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