Austin dependent designer Antonio Bond, of Transplants Floral & Style. Picture by Dan Winters

“I most likely do not in shape most people’s standard graphic of a florist. I’m the burly guy with tattoos and a long beard in a flannel shirt,” laughs Antonio Bond. Nonetheless, gaze on any of his floral arrangements—more aptly named botanical sculptures—and it’s apparent the person with the looks of a lumberjack has the eyesight and soul of a real artist.

A few years in the past, after Bond’s work caught the eyes of the creators of Total Bloom, HBO’s floral structure actuality clearly show, the Austin-primarily based designer joined as a person of 10 talented rivals on the second period. “For the first three episodes, I was really shy. I’m the particular person who would like my types to communicate for themselves,” he claims. “But then I hit my groove, since when I’m comfy, all bets are off and I enable my guard down.” (Spoiler alert—he didn’t win but came in a really respectable third spot).

Bond’s backstory has all the makings of an fascinating actuality show in its very own right. The youngster of moms and dads he describes as collectors and hippies who uncovered elegance in quirky, identified objects, he grew up surrounded with and earning artwork of all forms, from tunes to drawing, portray, and pictures. His to start with foray into the floral earth took place in his late teenagers although doing work as a flower processor in a grocery keep. “When the flowers came in, I’d discover their names,” he claims. Just before also lengthy, he was making arrangements not only in the shop, but also for weddings on the aspect as favors for pals. He began tinkering with a style that he’s now develop into identified for, incorporating broken statues and odd bits and applying unanticipated vessels these as driftwood and bleached animal bones to build preparations of almost everything from peonies and roses to weeds and vines foraged in the wild.