It has been quite a while since a did an “in the cooler” post. I used to love doing these Friday night posts but honestly its a lot to keep up with. Life is wildly full and rich. I am avoiding saying the b word because being  _ usy, has gotten quite the bad wrap lately. The truth is everyone is fully involved or engaged in a million projects or work related assignments.  Thankfully all of the _usy work is finally done here and we have only to deliver our beautiful designs.

Even though we are completely ready for tomorrow I am still nervous. Yep, even after all of these years I get nervous. My desire to please my brides is so strong that the weight of making them happy haunts me. I hope, hope, hope, my brides are thrilled tomorrow. Each one of them is very special to me and each one of them has super high expectations!!! Imagine how nervous I will be two weeks from now when I give a bouquet to my soon to be daughter in law. Now we are talking about being seriously nervous!!

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It’s been a very busy week here at the studio but we sure have had a lot of fun.  We have five weddings tomorrow, and our flower shop has been hopping but we found time for some “in the cooler celebrations.” One of the highlights of the week was when we had guest visitors Carol and Bill from Corvallis Oregon. Carol co owns Celebrations Florals with her partner Peggy.  Carol and Peggy are designers in the group I started called the Chapel Designers. I was so thankful to have Carol here in my studio and in my cooler.

If you know me well, you know I love to take pictures of my kids in front of our red door. This photo has become a huge tradition for us and because of this, I love to get photos of my guests here as well. By the way, look how those succulents are doing. I hung those babies in the door garland several months ago and they have been thriving.

Tonight is also Riley’s 15th birthday and currently there are 9 additional teenagers over for a birthday pool party. This is also the reason why I am awake and writing this post.

Another reason I am celebrating is because my BFF (best flower friend) Don is totally back in my life again. The dahlias are now truly producing and I have his yummy, delectable, amazing product from now until the first frost. I am the luckiest girl alive!!!!

Bouquet number 1

Bouquet number 2

Bouquet number 3

Bouquet number 4

Bouquet number 5.

I got really brave tonight and I drove a cabbage rose right through the center of a cafe au lait dahlia to make bouquet number 5. PLEASE DONT TELL DON!!!! I have to admit I think this was a brilliant designer move as long as Don doesn’t kill me.

Happy night to you all!!

  • trish Says: (08.04.2012 | 03:03)

    So happy to see Carol in front of the red door as well as in the cooler! It is such and honor to be there!!! Happy birthday Riley, my “little” buddy! Those bouquets are ah maze ing! And Don. I am so jealous! Can’t wait to be back.

  • Alexandra Jusino Says: (08.04.2012 | 03:42)

    So cool to see another Chapel Designer make it to the cooler. Its truly a blessing to see another one of us standing in front of the red door. Happy Birthday to Riley! I can’t believe he is now 15. I still remember the blog post called the Sponge of Responsibility. Ahhh Don’s Dahlias. I can’t believe the bounty he brought you. Enjoy! And holy smokes you have five weddings this weekend? I feel like a slacker.

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This morning I went to the garden to cut. As I gathered my blooms in this incredible heat, I shed tears of true joy.  New ideas are forming and taking root in me. I hope they flourish and grow.

For the last two weeks designer friends have been joining me here at my home or in DC. We have been designing together and it has been incredible. All of these designers are part of the group the Chapel Designers, which is the organization of wedding experts I started two and half years ago. Together we have done some amazing things. Because of the relationships I have developed with these designers I am growing, learning and evolving. This growth is not only as a floral designer but as a person, a mother and a business owner. As many of you know I proclaimed this year, my year of learning and education. I have traveled to the Caribbean to celebrate 25 years of marriage, to NYC to be with my Chapel Designers, to Holland and Belgium to study design and recently to California to study under one of my all time favorite designers, although I have traveled many places this last year what I learned right here in my own back yard may be the post powerful of all.

Growth, change, and attitude are my responsibility. I gotta make it happen and I have to have the courage to leap!!

Many thanks to my wonderful friends and designers that visited or designed with me and my family over the last few weeks.


Courteney Lambert of Courteney Lambert Florals.

David Beahm of NYC who tried to teach Sam how to draw a covered bridge and who was willing to climb into the cooler with us in spite of the fact that he is one of the top designers in NYC.

A visit to Heiders Farm Market owned by my daddy!!

Chuck, Alexandra Jusino, and Alicia.

Alicia Schwede from Bella Fiore Events and the Flirty Fleurs Blog.

Chuck Graham Editor of Flirty Fleurs and floral designer at Blooms and Grace of Holly Chapple.

A special thanks also to designer Laura Ritchie from Events In The City who allowed me to have one of the most beautiful and real conversations of my life today.  I am so thankful for my designer friends and for the encouragement and support they continue to give me.

Laura Ritchie, Christie Mcquire, and Megan Pollard from Events In The City.

  • alicia Says: (07.06.2012 | 01:26)

    wish I was still in the garden or the cooler 😉 miss you. xoxo.

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With all that has been going on around here I have been skipping my “in the cooler” posts, but we have so many things to show you, I just had to pop by tonight to say hi!! First up, we had an awesome wedding today. These blue, peach, and coral tones truly make my heart sing. Look at this wedding…

I am obsessed with the clematis vine flying out of these altar designs; many thanks to designer Miriam who added the clematis vine after I flipped out because the designs were not big enough. Miriam did a fabulous garden rescue on these designs, proving once again the answer is always in the garden.

The centerpieces on this wedding were stunners as well and again feature tons of clematis from our farm. Many thanks to designer Whitney for leading this wedding to glory and for getting a little wild with the clematis.

The next pictures are a parade of tomorrow’s bridal bouquets. Holy freak, we are killing it here with all of our lovely products and our many new sources.

Some really big things happened here today, some of them wonderful and some of them a little painful, but we continue to move forward into the next phase of our story!!!

  • Evie MacDougall Says: (06.25.2012 | 09:50)

    Blown away Holly…love love love these flowers!

  • Suzanne Cade Says: (06.26.2012 | 03:16)

    I love your peach, orange and blue combination for centerpieces. I think the orange rose is a “Free Spirit” but do you mind sharing the variety of the pink rose?

    • Holly Chapple Says: (06.27.2012 | 02:08)

      Yes the orange is a free spirit and the pink rose is a spray rose. It was a new variety to me. I will also the wholesaler!! Write to me via email and I will find you the variety name.

  • Bev Mannes Says: (07.05.2012 | 02:28)

    Love this color combination and the petals everywhere! Let me know when you are starting classes. Would be great to see you again. Little Grace was adorable in the pink pomanders! what a week it must have been with the challenges of the storm. Glad you were able to pull it off. Kudos to you! Bev

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Yesterday was a busy day but we managed to create totally amazing pieces for this weekends events. Here are some pictures that show our cooler, shop and yard. Thankfully we took the time to model a few of our designs. Wish us luck today as we battle the heat, and a big parade in DC that is sure to cause some trouble as far as traffic goes.


The inspector!!!

Bout and corsage time.

Our home made garland, we always make it in house, literally!!!

Our beautiful all white bridal bouquet for one of our very special brides. Happy day!!!

  • Pam Morris Says: (06.10.2012 | 01:24)

    That first bouquet is beyond beautiful. The colors and textures are incredible.

  • Tiffany Forster Says: (07.06.2012 | 02:08)

    That’s my bouquet!!! I loved it SO much! It was perfection! All the flowers were just absolutely amazing! Completely beyond what I could have ever imagined. It’s so cool seeing them all waiting patiently in your cool 🙂

    Holly, I cannot thank you enough for making all my wedding dreams a reality:-) You are truly the best!

  • Tina Marek Says: (09.05.2012 | 03:05)

    Hello…I have just found your blog…love love love…your flowers….in the above bouquet….what is the name of the white cabbage roses? Thanks

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We have two wonderful weddings on this lovely mothers day weekend. Just a few seconds ago I checked on my bridal bouquets and I caught them snuggling “in the cooler.” I wonder what goes on in my cooler when I turn off the lights and close the door.

The cooler is also hiding 168 bud vases. The little designs are tucked in so tightly that I couldn’t get a photo. The flower shop girls had one heck of a time this week creating all of those pieces.

This was created for a flower girl. The flowers bend into a wreath and it will be bound together with sheer pink ribbon.

Mid morning today I headed down to preschool for the mothers day tea with Samuel. This was a nice break in the middle of my day.

Back in the garden lovely things are blooming. I love my tulip poplar tree and I am thrilled that I got to design with her this year. I did a big photo shoot this week and she was the featured bloom.

We also have astrantia, peony, iris, clematis, and baptisia blooming in the yard.

This design was being created for a princess, yes we truly had a flower order for a princess today.

This beauty was created from my garden and it will be given to a special mom for mothers day.

Happy mothers day to all the mommies!!

  • Mary Says: (05.14.2012 | 09:07)

    Reading your blog always makes me smile. I live in Arizona, so I can’t have the beautiful garden flowers you do. Thanks for sharing their pictures.

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Some of you may have noticed, that I have not started my Friday night tradition of posting “in the cooler.” I honestly am not sure I will be able to keep that up this year, so I hesitated to tease you with this post. However conditions for a late night blog post were right tonight in the Chapple house,  I have 9 teenagers over for a mini party so I must stay awake, I only have 2 weddings which means we finished at a reasonable hour, and I did not take time to blog this morning. So… I thought I would pop by with this little post of what’s in my cooler!!

Today we did a yellow and white wedding. The bridal bouquet looked like this…

It was created with 20 stems of white stock, white ranunculus, yellow ranunculus, yellow billy balls, and my new favorite the SILK anemone. Every single time I buy white anemones, I get spotted losers. Being always cautious I asked my bride from day one, if the silk anemones would be allowed. No surprises for any of us. I knew those blooms would come in spotted and spotted blooms are not good enough to be Hollyish. In spite of the naughty anemones, I do love how this design turned out. This bouquet says, happy day with a pop of spring.

Maids bouquets were created with yellow cabbage roses, yellow billy balls, yellow spray roses and yellow ranunculus. Navy blue ribbon sealed the deal.

Centerpieces were created in white square glass vases with the same flowers.

Tomorrows bridal bouquet was created with white peony, white roses, white lilac, white freesia, white hydrangea and white roses.  This bouquet is a classic, elegant, beauty!!

We have 12 elevated designs for tomorrow, 12 low designs, lots of aisle decor, and lots and lots of petals. We are thankful for the beautiful designs we created this week and we are so happy for our brides and grooms.

Okay, so the teenagers just announced they are staying another hour. I am so glad they are having fun, but I am feeling mighty sleepy!!! At least you got a blog post out of me.

  • Sally Henderson Says: (04.28.2012 | 12:53)

    Yellow billy balls…I wondered earlier what those were, very pretty. I really like the “naughty” anemone – quite lovely and the bouquet is FABULOUS!!! All of it is wonderful! YOU are amazing!

  • Evie Says: (04.28.2012 | 03:28)

    Love love love these especially the white bouquet!!! Exquisite! x

    • Holly Chapple Says: (04.29.2012 | 01:20)

      There you are my Australian friend!!! I sure do miss you!! I am loving the clothes and gifts we gather together in Amsterdam!! I wish you could come by for a visit.

  • Terri Says: (04.28.2012 | 06:19)

    Nine teenagers and you’re still able to function!

  • Pam Morris Says: (04.28.2012 | 12:08)

    Thanks for taking the time out of your exhausting day to share. The florals for today’s weddings are beyond beautiful.

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Last week was a huge production week for our studio. So much so that I simply neglected to do my “in the cooler” post.  I also figured since it was Feb. you would not have been expecting it anyways, but oh boy, did we ever have a full cooler. In addition to our very full cooler, it was Myriams birthday. We celebrated by having a birthday party which was also like a reunion. Many of us have not seen each other since before Christmas. We also had the pleasure of dinning in a room decorated by Evan, who had taken time on Friday to bring some of his creations to life. This house is always hopping!!

This place is like the birthday house, it’s always someones birthday!! Which is awfully fun for the little Chapples.

While we were in the studio designing Evan created a frame that we can use to swag fabric across a room. It’s funny to see him enjoy creating. This is most certainly different than the role he had in the corporate world.

He also wanted to create a huge flower. One that could tower over a ballroom. I have heard him talking about these things but all of a sudden he had brought them to life.

We had to create 18 elevated designs. Each design is created in a flat tray called a lomey tray. Floral foam is wrapped in chicken wire and then taped to the tray. The chicken wire gives the oasis support, we were inserting hundreds of stems into this foam. The chicken wire keeps the foam from splitting in half.  The flat tray fits right on top of our beautiful glass vases.

This grid was created and each designer was given a copy. We had 18 low designs, and 18 elevated designs.  8 of the elevated designs were on larger tables so those tables were given 3 additional designs at the base of the elevated design.

As I mentioned our cooler was full, so full that I could not get inside.

Wait until you see what we did with all of these flowers!! Happy Monday!!!

  • Peggy Says: (02.20.2012 | 04:06)

    Love this post, Holly! A little personal look into family and fun, creative moments, beautiful and gorgeous flowers, and some technical stuff, to boot! You know “we” are waiting to see this event in its entirety!

  • Olga Says: (02.21.2012 | 10:23)

    And which program did you use to draw the scheme, I wonder?

    Full fridge makes us a little envy))))

  • Olga Says: (02.21.2012 | 10:24)

    And by the way – it’s so nice to see Evan creating. It’s true!

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2011 has been incredibly good to our family and this flower shop. I can barely believe it’s time to say goodbye to 2011. We have our final wedding of the year tomorrow night and its a sexy whopper. Our year and our wedding season will end with a fabulous New Years Eve, black and white wedding. At midnight Evan will be doing his first ever balloon drop. Yep, he may just be the biggest blessing and asset of 2011, so it’s only fitting that the year end with a big balloon drop designed by Evan. We are so grateful to be creating right up to the very last minute of 2011. Here is our last “in the cooler” post of 2011. I will thankfully and happily take another year as wonderful as this!!!!

My bride will carry a beautiful bouquet of all white mini callas. The bouquet was surrounded with black feathers. Tomorrow I will bind the bouquet in black lace and add brooches to the stems.

Elevated designs were created with white hydrangea, white callas, white football mums, and white dendrobium orchids. At the wedding we will add black ostrich feathers, and crystals. This wedding is so over the top!!!

These balls of flowers will be elevated on mirrored black and silver boxes. They will be paired with my crystal stands. I am dying to see these designs in place.

These designs are for the cocktail tables. I am loving my silk anemones!!!!!!!

Maids bouquets were created with the silk anemone, white carnations, roses, ranunculus, and black privet berry.

Piles of feathers, crystals and supplies are loaded and ready to go.

Our place card design couldn’t be any cooler with feathers, noise blowers, and party hats. It’s perfect right?

Evan will also be up-lighting the reception room. His equipment is ready and waiting in the basement…

and in our bedroom there are 150 balloons. I’m not quite sure why he chose our bedroom to store the balloons but oh well that’s one of the joys of being home based and having your spouse as a business partner. We are so ready and excited to bring this wedding to life.

On a personal note our family has been looking at wedding gowns and our bride ( my son’s fiance) has made her choice and we are totally thrilled!!! As we leave 2011 we are so excited and so hopeful for 2012. If I were to write a gratitude list it would go on for miles. I will never be able to thank all of the family, friends, supporters and followers that help us to be a success. I am feeling totally blessed. 2011 was outrageously good to us and 2012 is looking incredibly good as well!!


  • Linda DiFrancesca Says: (12.31.2011 | 03:58)

    Happy New Year to all of you and your wedding looks just beautiful! You deserve a great 2012. Thanks for all of your information and support to all of us in 2011.

  • Jenn Ederer Says: (01.01.2012 | 03:41)

    So festive and fabulous!! Congrats on an incredible year and cheers to 2012. Thank you for love, friendship and support.

  • +**+#+* Says: (01.01.2012 | 01:12)

    Happy new year !

    And Thank You for contributing to my collection of bouquets :


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