Famed florist to present during Atlanta Botanical Garden Flower Show

Celebrity floral artist Bruno Duarte got into the business on the ground floor. Literally, the floor.

“I originally started sweeping the floor at a flower shop and then realized that I loved it,” he said. “I decided to go to school and realized it could be an art form.”

Duarte, who counts entertainers such as part-time Atlantan Elton John among his clients, grew up on his family’s farm in Madeira, off the coast of Morocco, and now operates the head-turning Fresh Floral Creations in Toronto. He’ll be one of the presenters during Saturday’s special programming as part of the Atlanta Botanical Garden Flower Show.

FULL COVERAGE: Atlanta Botanical Garden Flower Show continues 30-year tradition

The theme, “Ingenue: A Toast to Georgia’s Film Industry,” is particularly appropriate for Duarte, but he’s ready to teach everyone how to create arrangements fit for a star.

“I love living with flowers. It just changes the mood,” he said during a recent interview. “Throughout the year, certain flowers are available. It reminds you, ‘Oh, it’s Spring!’”

He loves orchids, especially lady slipper orchids, and enjoys mixing in materials like branches or bark to add texture. (Take a look at his handiwork here). He also likes to use leaves in unusual ways to add visual interest, and turning greenery from filler to fabulous will be among the techniques he’ll cover during today’s lecture.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “People can go home and try it themselves.”

Whether you receive or create an arrangement, hydration is key to enjoying it longer, so be sure to keep the water changed and the stems snipped, he advised. Oh, and if you’re planning an Oscar watching party and aren’t sure what to festoon the buffet table with: “I would do a gold container with all red roses,” Duarte advised. “Very classic.”

Joining him Saturday will be author and garden, floral and interior designer James Farmer, an editor-at-large for Southern Living. Presentations are today from 2 to 5:30 p.m. at the Piedmont Driving Club, 1215 Piedmont Avenue NE. Tickets are $50 and are available online here.

The 2018 Flower Show, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, will feature thousands of plants and a juried competition in the divisions of Floral Design, Horticulture and Photography. The Landscape Design division will showcase small garden displays by Boxwoods, Ed Castro Landscape, Hamilton Land Services and Unique Environmental.

During the show, visitors can explore the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s seasonal landscape and annual Orchid Daze exhibition inside the Fuqua Orchid Center.

The show is chaired by Mary Wayne Dixon and Mary Katherine Greene and honors Pat Hartrampf. Margaret Chambers and Greer Pope chaired the preview party.

Proceeds benefit the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s International Plant Exploration Program. For tickets and more information click here.

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