Pr e serv ing the Fl e et ing Be aut y of Flower s
BY AMANDA L I S K | PHOTOGRAPHY BY A L L I SON POT T ER
Carly Gee, owner and founder of The Dandelion Fox,
spent much of her time in nature when growing up at
Wrightsville Beach, preferably surrounded by flowers.
Sometimes in her mother’s Harbor Island garden but
mostly at the beach, for that is where the wildflowers grow.
“What’s my favorite flower? Oh, that’s such a hard
question. I don’t know if I can even answer that, there’s
so many,” Gee laughs. “I would say the flowers people call
weeds, the wildflowers like dandelions, the flowers people
don’t notice as often. They are usually my favorites —
gaillardia, sneezeweed, blue-eyed grass.”
After graduating from Hoggard High School in 2015,
Gee started researching flower pressing and fell in love.
“When I saw Emily Dickenson’s personally pressed
flowers collection from the Victorian era it blew my mind,
‘Wow, I can preserve flowers?’” says Gee who holds a Bach-elor
of Arts degree and an elementary teaching license.
“Something about being able to preserve the fleeting
moments in my garden feels magical.”
Through trial and error, Gee discovered how to not only
press flowers, but turn them into artwork. The process
blossomed into a unique business.
Her colorful arrangements are each one of a kind. A
framed display features pressed hydrangea florets and
golden coreopsis petals that came from Gee’s aunt’s
garden. Another piece features a pipevine swallowtail
butterfly found naturally expired in Asheville.
“I usually kind of create a flowerscape is what I call it.
I want to make it look like you are walking into this wild
and beautiful garden,” Gee says.
Gee has been invited to pick flowers from the Harbor
Way Gardens at Wrightsville Beach, some of which her
own mother planted years ago as a member of the Harbor
Island Garden Club.
Below: Carly Gee visits a friend’s property to pick cosmos destined for her pressed flower art. Opposite: Gee displays her
collections, face planters and pressed flower work in her eclectic Wrightsville Beach studio.