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Franktown House Flowers: A colourful field of dreams in Wakefield, Que.


The seeds of an inspired idea are often planted many years before they take root, and begin to grow and bloom.

“I sort of denied the dream of cut flowers for a very long time and took a different path,” said Danielle Schami of Franktown House Flowers in Wakefield, Que.

“I went to university, grad school, worked for the federal public service for a decade and it was stronger than me. I really had to be here. It was all about starting a flower farm and moving to Wakefield,” she said.

In 2013, Danielle Schami, her partner Larry McNeely, and their two young children moved from Hull, Que. to a 70-acre farm in rural Wakefield, their home.

‘We loved the property, the community, the village, the hills, and the whole area. Anyone who’s been up here knows it’s a magical place. I feel extremely privileged to be here,” said Schami.

Danielle Schami at her cut flower farm, Franktown House Flowers in Wakefield, Quebec. (Joel Haslam CTV Ottawa)

Here, Schami would begin to tend a half-acre garden where a life-long dream would blossom. Her crop is cut flowers; bouquets of joy for a world grateful to receive them.

“This is the ninth season I’m growing cut flowers as a form of production, and I still get that feeling when I’m staring at a fresh bloom,” she said.

“There’s something magical, inspiring and very uplifting. There’s a vibration to flowers; something exquisite about their shapes and forms.”

Schami’s business is Franktown House Flowers. The name honours the family’s log home, which was moved to Wakefield from Franktown, Ont. years ago.

Franktown House Flowers in Wakefield, Quebec. (Joel Haslam CTV Ottawa)

“That’s where my McNeeley family landed when they came from Ireland. It’s a beautiful house and we love it,” said Larry McNeeley.

More than the homestead, it was Schami’s drive to grow a business that led her family to Wakefield.

“It was what guided us to find the property and take those first steps to start the farm,” said McNeely.

“And it’s evolved over time. She obviously loves it and a lot of people love her for doing it, as well,” he said.

Schami supplies her beautiful bouquets to stores in Wakefield and Chelsea. She also provides flowers for weddings and special events.

Danielle Schami at her cut flower farm, Franktown House Flowers in Wakefield, Quebec. (Joel Haslam CTV Ottawa)

Perhaps her farm’s most popular draw, though, is a flower subscription service.

“People were thrilled to be able to do this. They thought what a lovely idea,” she said.

Clients pay in advance and receive a bouquet weekly, or biweekly.

“It’s been a much-needed gift of joy and colour to ease pandemic pain,” said Schami.

“In 2020, my subscription program doubled and in 2021 I had to cut off the sign-up date early,” she said.

“A woman I know who has been receiving our bouquets for two or three years said it’s gotten to the point when she goes into a room, she is thinking about the bouquet in the other room. She said ‘Is that weird?” laughed Schami.

When Schami began her cut flower business, she knew of only one other farm similar to hers, in Quebec. She says the popularity of this enterprise is growing. A 2020 survey revealed that there are now 70 cut flower operations in the province.

“There’s been quite an explosion,” she said.

“Every time I open Instagram, there’s another flower farm popping up.”

It’s Schami’s hope to eventually share the joy of cut flowers and her farm with others.

Danielle Schami at her cut flower farm, Franktown House Flowers in Wakefield, Quebec. (Joel Haslam CTV Ottawa)

“The next step is to bring people here to experience the joy I feel when I’m harvesting and arranging and just being here,” she said.

And while she contemplates what’s next, Schami knows her decision to plant this business was a bouquet she gave to herself; a field of dreams come true.

“I feel thrilled I’ve done this. I could not leave this world without growing cut flowers. It brings joy to people’s lives.”

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