Toronto Designer Bruno Duarte

Toronto Designer Bruno Duarte

January 4, 2010
Photo by: Jon Whittle

Bruno Duarte's initiation into floral design began with a temporary job at a floral shop to fill the time between high school and college. Looking through books on the subject, the light bulb went off when he came across the work of Belgian designers like Daniel Ost. "I was amazed to realize this can be an art form  — and I could go to school for it and make it a career!"

Now owner and creative director of Fresh Floral Creations in Toronto, Duarte has spent the last 15 years honing his craft — and crafting his plants. For Duarte, leaves and flowers are like clay in the hands of a sculptor.

In this arrangement he has bent, folded and interlaced Pandanus leaves into an abstract form (Duarte likens it to origami), then tucked in a clutch of calla lilies to balance. To hide the stems and visually anchor the arrangement, the vase has been lined with dark-colored leaves of ti plant (Cordyline fruticosa). The entire creation only took Duarte about 10 minutes to construct.

For more on Duarte and Fresh Floral Creations, go to


Standing at the worktable in his shop, surrounded by an array of floral design elements that celebrated both nature and high style, Bruno Duarte demonstrated his artistry for photographer Jon Whittle and editor Jenny Andrews. Click here to see the Step-by-Step.