Introduction to Brenda Cook

I have lived in Fairbanks since 2001. Previously I lived in Moscow, Idaho and previously to that, I lived in Lakewood, Washington where i was born and raised. Growing up, my parents were heavy into gardening both vegetables and flowers. It was from them that I got my love of gardening. I really love flowers. I love the many colors and varieties flowers come in. Because I enjoy so many flowers, it’s difficult for me to pin point a favorite. So I would say, my top three flowers would be peonies, sunflowers and petunias.

One of my dahlias
Some of my petunias


  1. Welcome Brenda,
    so exciting for you to join us. Gardening can be a lot of fun, I sometimes sit in the garden and literally “watch my plants grow”. It is so soothing, and nowadays I plan our meals around some of the plants we have growing in the garden. The first peonies have flowered and it is so exciting for the others to bloom soon. I am attaching one of my favorite one, it is ‘Sonoma Welcome’, and Itoh Intersectional hybrid. Intersectional peony hybrids, also known as Itoh hybrids are the result of crossing or hybridizing the two main groups or selections of peonies: the herbaceous hybrids which die down to subsurface buds during their dormant season and the tree or woody shrub peonies which retain a year round woody branch structure above ground level. We cannot grow tree peonies in Fairbanks due to the extreme cold temperatures, but Itohs give us the best of both parents with the handsome flowers and foliage of the woody tree peonies displayed on an herbaceous plant. The color of the petals of ‘Sonoma Welcome’ are just so gorgeous. The picture is from last year, the peonies are a bit behind this year, but I am excited for blooms to appear later in July.

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