In the Garden - July 3, 2017

July has started and the gardens are thriving. We had been hoping to start this series sooner, but as can be imagined - the Chapple Family has been busy. Since our introduction post, Holly Chapple has been to North Carolina and back. The Chapel Designer conference in Chapel Hill, NC went beautifully, and was stocked with plenty of blooms from our farm. While Holly Chapple Flowers and the Chapel Designers have been out designing, we have been in the fields farming and growing for future events.

 Evan and Holly Chapple harvesting

Evan and Holly Chapple harvesting

Over the course of one year, we have grown and harvested a variety of flowers and produce. We typically start our plants from seeds as opposed to saplings. We have tomatoes, blueberries, corn, sweet peas, beans, raspberries, and blackberries, and we have begun apple trees. Our focus is not particularly on produce, but we certainly have the space for it. As for flowers, just to name a few - in different seasons we have amaranthus, zinnias, sunflowers, celosia, cosmos, peonies, larkspur, and many more. We have only owned Hope since August of 2015, and each year we try to increase what we grow. We have a myriad of different goals and dreams for this property, and a bunch of ideas that will become a reality that we haven’t even fathomed yet.

July has just begun. We have already had some plants come and go for the year. Our peonies had a lively spring and are now resting until next year. Our sweet peas, cosmos, and larkspur thrived through June and are now getting ready to rest to make room for some new summer blossoms. We have been plucking Japanese Beetles from the garden, we have purchased bees to help our flowers, and we have been fertilizing our gardens. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our dahlias, zinnias, and other summer blooms.

We have been using these blooms for summer floral intensives, photo shoots, conferences, and our designs for fun. Each week we hope to give you different information - interviews, how-to’s, or photos of what we have been using. Feel free to comment on this post with any requests or questions you may have. We are so happy to share our garden with you, whether truly in the fields or just online.

 A design created by Holly Chapple from Hope flowers

A design created by Holly Chapple from Hope flowers

In the Cooler to In the Garden

In 2008, before the Chapel Designers, before Hope Flower Farm, and before the youngest Chapple child was even born - my mother began writing regularly for her blog called The Full Bouquet. This was not only before a lot of my mother’s accomplishments, but also before Instagram was thriving as a major outlet for social media. @hollychapple may now have 64,000 Instagram followers, but in 2008, my mother’s internet following checked her blog to see what was going on in our world. Just as the Holly Chapple Flowers social media pages appear today, my mother posted not just business updates, but family updates on The Full Bouquet as well. The Full Bouquet’s name originated from exactly what my mother’s life is - a bouquet that is and was a menagerie of florals, friends, family and utter chaos.

 Original Posts from the Full Bouquet Blog, 2008.

Original Posts from the Full Bouquet Blog, 2008.

As my mother’s following increased, she found the best way to update people on her life was her Friday evening post titled, In the Cooler. Followers would log on at the end of each week to read my mom’s post--people wanted to see what we had in the cooler, what we were designing, and who we were designing for. Honestly, more people were excited to see what was in the cooler than to see how the event actually came together. People love to see how what we do comes to be. I think that’s why Holly Chapple Flowers + Hope Flower Farm are so loved in the floral community. You can always see what a florist can do - but you can’t always see how it is done. Brides would stay up the evening before their wedding to see what in the cooler might be theirs, and potential students would scour the site to see how they can one day do something #hollyish. This love of watching what we do and how we do it led me to an idea.

You may know that I periodically wrote for my mother, Hope, and the Chapel Designers during my college career. I have now left my college town of Richmond, Virginia and I am back in Lucketts/Northern Virginia for the summer at the least. As I settle back into farm life, my dad will show me what he is working on growing on the farm. My mother will show me what she designs from our product at Hope. The Chapple children all have a role in our family business. They’ve helped harvest, grow, and even try to design sometimes. After coming back home and almost looking on all of this with new eyes, I have been inspired to write a weekly post for our blog titled In the Garden.

Each week, you can check in on the Hope blog to see what we’re growing, what is thriving, and how we’re designing with it. You’ll see photos of how we’re growing what we’re growing, and I’ll try my best to get quick interviews from the HHCF and HHF team, my father, or my mother if the week permits. Like I said, the process has always attracted people just as much as the product has. If you don’t have time to check out our weekly posts, check out our Instagram, @hopeflowerfarm, to see what we’re growing and how we’re doing. The Holly Chapple Flowers empire is always growing and changing, and our flowers are too. But the one thing we strive to do and always manage to do is provide what we can for the people who want it, and teach those who want to learn.


As some of you may know, we at Holly Chapple Flowers have recently bought and opened our own flower farm here in Lucketts, Virginia. Within the past few months, Hope Flower Farm has hosted several classes and photo shoots. Every day we are working to help Chapel Designers and HCF grow. While I am easily able to update you all on our life through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, blogging has been a struggle. We have had some technically difficulties with this blog and life has been very busy around here! My daughter, Hannah, a senior at VCU, has decided to write posts for me as frequently as her schedule allows. The following post is one that Hannah wrote a few months back, during our first Hope Flower Farm Chapel Designers Workshop with Ariel Dearie. Now that we have the Full Bouquet up and running again, we hope that you come back here every once in a while to see updates on Hope, the Chapel Designers, HCF, and life in the Chapple Family. The posts written by Hannah are her perspective as the daughter of a parent in the wedding industry.

This week has been something special. As I sit on a train headed from Washington, DC back to Richmond, I write this. Tomorrow I start my senior year of college, but this past week has been spent with my family, Holly Chapple Flowers, and the Chapel Designers. These past several days back in Lucketts, Virginia have been my first home since the purchase of Hope Flower Farm. Obviously, my mother wanted to christen her beautiful farm with a Chapel Designers workshop and class. I have never seen my mother teach before—I have to tell you, I have never seen her more in her element. 

 Ariel Dearie, designing at the first Hope Flower Farm workshop. Photo by  Jodi Miller Photography.

Ariel Dearie, designing at the first Hope Flower Farm workshop. Photo by Jodi Miller Photography.

My older sister, Abby, is a floral designer like our mother. She and I have worked with my mom—as have my other siblings—the past week to make sure Hope was perfect for the newest Chapel Designers. My sister and I watched my mother work, we talked with all of the designers, and we prepared the farm.  Last night, my mother had some Chapel Designer “veterans” over to our home, and we talked with them too. Today my sister and I realized something very interesting about my mom, the Flower Mama… she treats her Chapel Designers the way she treats her children.

This silly revelation is something you may not understand if you do not know the Chapple Family. My parents have seven children, and we range from 28 to six years old. We are close, even with such a drastic age gap. While my mother can play and have fun with all seven of us, the way she treats us is very different.  What I noticed within the past 24 hours of seeing both new and old Chapel Designers is that my mother treats the old CDs the way she treats her older children, and her new CDs the way she treats her younger children.

 Holly Chapple and Ariel Dearie at the first Hope Flower Farm workshop in August of 2015. Photo by  Jodi Miller Photography.

Holly Chapple and Ariel Dearie at the first Hope Flower Farm workshop in August of 2015. Photo by Jodi Miller Photography.

My mother is nurturing, regardless of whomever she is talking to. With her veteran Chapel Designers that we spent time with last night, she joked and swapped stories, the way she does with my elder siblings and I. With her new Chapel Designers she spent time with today, I noticed her offering a lot of “motherly” advice. Obviously these new Chapel Designers are just as skilled as the other members of our organization, but they’re new to the gang. My mom takes these new designers under her wing and teaches them, almost babying them, the way she does with my younger siblings.  This may seem like a meaningless connection to make, but it is crucial in explaining why we own Hope, and why my mom is so happy now.

The reason my mother is so incredibly in her element as a teacher of the Chapel Designers is because it combines her two passions better than anything I’ve ever seen—she can nurture and design. I guess this is why they call her Flower Mama. Hope is a step in the right direction for my entire family, but most importantly, it’s best for my mother.  Combining her two passions means that she will be able to bring more and more to this industry that she’s devoted the past 23 years of her life to.

To me, my mother has just always been my momma. But within these past several years since the forming of the Chapel Designers, I’ve realized how amazingly talented she truly is. Honestly, it’s rare now if I go a few days without bragging about my mom.  The Chapel Designers is something I don’t think she ever fathomed, and now that it is here, she’s happier than she’s ever been.  Combining flowers and parenting… who would have thought?

I suppose this post is a thank you to every single Chapel Designer. All 100-something of you. Whether in Ireland or Mexico, North Carolina or California, you have given my mother a new zest. My mom wears many different hats—mother, designer, grower, farmer, etc. I love being my mother’s daughter, and I have loved watching her be a florist these past 20 years, but this new hat, the hat of a teacher, is the best one I’ve seen her wear yet.

 Holly teaching at the first Hope Flower Farm workshop in August of 2015. Photo by  Jodi Miller Photography .

Holly teaching at the first Hope Flower Farm workshop in August of 2015. Photo by Jodi Miller Photography.

Hope Flower Farm

Several months ago this letter appeared on the Botanical Brouhaha Blog. It is a very special day when you hear your story through your child’s eyes. Please read the letter from my daughter Hannah.

Growing up, my friends’ parents were teachers and lawyers, nurses and stay-at-home parents. When classmates would ask me about my mother, reactions varied. In elementary school, telling kids your mother is a florist leads to the question, “does that mean she lays flooring?” In high school, telling your friends that your mother is a florist means them asking if she’s done flowers for any celebrities. Now, I am 22 years old. My mother has been a florist my entire life. Telling people my mother is a florist now usually leads to my friends saying they want her doing their wedding flowers.

My mother is devoted to her career, to her clients, and to her art. My siblings and I have always joked that we can’t go into a grocery store without my mom knowing at least one person there. This running joke isn’t just because my mother has been in Loudoun County her entire life, or that she’s met many people through her parents’ work in the agricultural industry, but because my mother builds a rapport with her clients unlike anyone I have ever seen.

I may be ridiculously biased, obviously… I’m Holly Chapple’s daughter. Writing about my mother may be silly for you to read, because I would look up to her and admire her regardless of what she decides to do. However; I have had a myriad of different jobs, I have worked in customer service, I have met new people and seen new things, but I have never found anyone who is as committed to their clients as my mother. More often than not, my mom ends up friends with her brides. Somehow my mom can run into a bride she hasn’t seen in years, and be able to remember the wedding date and the flower colors. My mom puts her heart and soul into every bridal bouquet she has made, into making every wedding she works absolutely flawless, and making sure each couple has the wedding they’ve dreamt of.

I don’t know why I’m writing this. My mom didn’t ask me to, I just felt that I needed to. I think it’s really important that The Full Bouquet becomes more regular in my mother’s career again. I think it is important that you know what goes into Holly Chapple Flowers. Every single day my mother does even more to improve her business and innovate the wedding industry. In creating the Chapel Designers, she made the first ever network for wedding florists—these men and women have come together as friends, have taught each other, learned together, and offered help to one another whenever possible. When my father joined the team, my mother and he worked together to improve the business and make the clients happier. With design, pipe and drape, and lighting, my parents made another move to better her business and give her customers the best possible weddings.

Something amazing has happened very recently. My mother does whatever possible to make the best life for my siblings and I, for her students, and for her brides. The most recent business move she has made to improve life for my siblings and I, to help her students, and to make her brides happy, was the purchase of Hope Flower Farm. This beautiful 25-acre property my parents have decided to declare their own has the space for all of the flowers, the storage for the inventory, the buildings for lessons, and houses for guests to stay in. HOPE isn’t just some dream that my parents had that they made happen. Hope was destiny. When friends and designers saw Hope, before my family officially owned it, all they could do was encourage my parents. When people truly and completely know the story of my parents, the story of my family, and the story of Holly Chapple Flowers, Hope just seemed like fate. It was a part of my family’s path to find Hope, and to have Hope.

My mother has worked for so many others, and she has worked for my siblings and I—and in my opinion there is no one more deserving of Hope. I am telling you this story strictly because I want to. My mother doesn’t know I’m typing this. She doesn’t know I feel this way. I wanted to write this tiny summary of my family’s history so you could understand only a fraction of my mother’s kindness and strength. My family and our business have thousands of different facets that explain the way we work. We have succeeded and we have struggled, we have failed and we have pushed harder. Every single tiny thing that happens to us leads us to try harder and be kinder.  I think it would take me way longer than I could write to explain what my parents do for others. The beauty of my life today would be nothing without my mother and her work, my father and his. Hope is a big deal for my family, so was Chapel Designers, and Holly Chapple Flower’s beginnings were as well. The most important thing I want you to understand about this is that while Hope is my mother’s success—she does it for everyone else, and she shares her success with everyone who was gotten her there.

 Holly and Hannah, 1994.

Holly and Hannah, 1994.

 Hope Flower Farm, photo by Jodi Miller Photography.

Hope Flower Farm, photo by Jodi Miller Photography.





noun: hope; plural noun: hopes

  1. 1.

    a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

    "he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information"

    synonyms:aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, goal, plan, design; More

    dream, daydream, pipe dream

    "I had high hopes"

  2. 2.


    a feeling of trust.


verb: hope; 3rd person present: hopes; past tense: hoped; past participle: hoped; gerund or present participle: hoping

  1. 1.

    want something to happen or be the case.

    "he's hoping for an offer of compensation"

    synonyms:expect, anticipate, look for, be hopeful of, pin one's hopes on, want; More

    wish for, long for, dream of

    "he's hoping for a medal"

    • intend if possible to do something.

      "we're hoping to address all these issues"

      synonyms:aim, intend, be looking, have the intention, have in mind, plan, aspire

      "we're hoping to address the issue"


late Old English hopa (noun), hopian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hoop (noun), hopen (verb), and German hoffen (verb).