Bouquet breakdown: born to be wild

Tanya Canam

How Barefoot Blooms’ passionate owner, grower and designer combined elegance with natural world to make this bouquet.

Denise Stockdale approaches flower design in a very intimate way. If you’re working with her, chances are you’ll spend some time in her garden and at her dining room table. Her sustainability minded, Summerville-based Barefoot Blooms takes inspiration from the seasons, using flowers and plants from her farm as well as what she harvests from the land around her, and her process is always a respectful, collaborative one.

When it came to the bride behind this airy bouquet, the request was simple: It was a vintage wedding, she liked peachy tones and wildflowers, but she didn’t want anything rustic.

“Because she didn’t want it rustic there needed to be some degree of elegance to it,” says Stockdale. “To balance elegance with that wildflowers feel can sometimes be tricky, but when I think of a wild meadow one of the things that always strikes me is how the sunlight catches on those sprigs, those tips of grasses just lifting up above that field.” She sought out blooms that would sparkle in the light, dance in the wind and provide an unstructured, textured arrangement, which eventually led her to pluck from ornamental trees on her property that were planted “several human generations ago.”

“When people want a wildflower bouquet, rarely do they mean a native-to-Nova Scotia wildflower bouquet,” she says. “Rarely is there a wildflower to be seen.” Here, Stockdale breaks down what went in to marrying elegance and untamed beauty.

Stockdale says the leggy, thin stems on these flowers “offered that little lift” to the arrangement.

Sweet Pea Vine
The fragile, thin petals provide gentle texture and “not only catch the wind, but catch the light.”

Sheep Sorrel pods
These clear-but-peachy coloured pods act “like little mini lights” when sunshine passes through.

Double White English Hawthorne and Catalpa Tree
Stockdale scoured generations-old ornamental trees on her property to add substance to the long-limbed bouquet with accents like the soft pink flowers of the Hawthrorne.

“It’s funny they were not the focal flowers in the bouquet,” says Stockdale of the choice. “They offered grounding and acted as filler as opposed to being a showpiece flower.”

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