Our Mission

Willow Branch is Step mother/daughter team, Cathy Coyle and Mary Pearl Monnes. Willow Branch has grown from a life long love of flowers, gardening, art, nature and all things beautiful. Backgrounds in fine art and horticulture enable us to visualize unique combinations of color, form and texture with consideration for each individual couple and season. We work closely with dedicated local growers to select the best material for our designs. In support of small business, localized economy and sustainability we strive to source our blooms as close to home as possible and are proud to work in collaboration with Blue Heron Farm and Pharsalia Farm. Embracing seasonal selections allow the beholder to take forward a memento of their experience, reliving the beauty of a day again and again in the passing of seasons.

Willow Branch is located in Nelson County, Virginia and serves Charlottesville and the surrounding areas.

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Cathy Coyle

Owner, Lead Designer

Cathy’s work with flowers began after graduating from the Corcoran College of Art and Design at a street corner flower stand in Georgetown. From there, she designed at various DC flower shops until moving to the Shenandoah Valley to work with the renowned dried floral artist, Georgia Vance at Short Glade Farm. While there, she studied horticulture and floriculture to better cultivate the flowers that would be dried and arranged to the State Department’s diplomatic reception rooms, embassies and historic homes.

After freelancing as an artist, floral and garden designer, Cathy opened “Local Color”, a Staunton, VA shop featuring the work of regional artists and locally grown blooms.

In 2008, after moving to Nelson County, Va, the seed that is Willow Branch was planted when Cathy began designing for weddings and events from the barn converted to flower studio on her property.

Arranging flowers for one of the most important days in a couple’s life can be stressful but when the morning sunlight pours through the windows in Cathy’s studio, illuminating the unique colors and textures of her materials, she is in heaven.

 
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Mary Pearl Monnes

Designer, Office Manager

Mary Pearl grew up in flower shops in Charlottesville, Va, playing with spent roses and orchids and in the hills of Nelson County playing with Autumn Olive, dogwood and milkweed.

After studying performing and visual arts, Mary Pearl spent a year working on farms before returning to the Blue Ridge to put her hands to her own little piece of earth.

Mary Pearl began apprenticing Cathy in 2015, assisting with installation and asking lots of questions. In 2017, a twin studio separated by a breezeway was built so she could help with production. Willow Branch feels like the dream come true that Mary Pearl never knew she had.