Florist Maggie Freitas is filling Ottawa homes with blooms of love
Tucked behind the construction-filled corner on Richmond Road at Woodroffe Avenue is the small trip mall that is home to Flowers by Maggie. On the day I visited, owner operator Maggie Freitas was busy making bouquets for a multitude of clients.
Maggie is like the Jean-Paul Riopelle of flowers. To the untrained eye her arrangements seem spontaneous and unplanned, hinged on the simple love of the medium. There are no photos of arrangements pinned up on the walls for guidance, just buckets of colourful fresh blooms for inspiration. Twenty-five years experience is what makes it looks so easy, and a life-long passion for flowers and gardening that began when she was a young girl. She apprenticed at the apron strings of her mom, an avid gardener who was very involved in arranging flowers for her local church.
The fast flower bouquets for sale at local grocery store checkouts don’t come close to the beauty of one of Maggie’s arrangements. Cheesey as it may sound, it's as if hers are made with love. The little extras that make her bouquets shine, small adornments like butterflies and ribbons, are some of the things that set them apart from others.
And you get that vibe from Maggie. She seems like a genuinely warm and caring person. She laughs and says that her mom told her, "You'll never be rich because you are always giving things away." Lately, she has been donating flowers destined for seniors in long-term care. She laments that she no longer has her mom and says it just a small thing she can do.
If you are unsure about what type of bouquet you want, just call Maggie and tell her about who you are buying it for and why and she will come up with something within the price range you would like to pay. She gets a lot of requests for pick-up orders in the $55 -$100 range but can easily do a custom order for $400+.
ABOVE: Maggie Freitas, seen here with Tiger, has been bringing smiles to happy clients for over 25 years.
Maggie shares her boutique with a large friendly cat named Tiger and an assortment of birds you can hear chirping at the back of the shop. She has a history of taking in injured animals, and nursing them back to health or ferrying them to local sanctuaries.
Maggie’s tips for tending to your flower arrangements:
- Make sure to keep your flowers away from direct heat — like a window or a hot kitchen.
- Change the water every day by pulling out the whole bouquet.
- Give the vase a good rinse before refilling it with water.
- Trim the ends of the stems with sharp scissors or pruning sheers and put the bouquet back in the vase.