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Delicate Dried Flowers in the City of Bridges: Roxanne's Dried Flowers

In the industrial City of Bridges, Pittsburg’s Roxanne’s Dried Flowers creates a whimsical oasis of plants that offers contemporary flower arrangements and a bold alternative to grocery store flower bouquets. While a spontaneous flower purchase alongside milk and eggs can brighten a weekday errand, Roxanne's promotes a more artful flower experience.

dried carthamus safflower

As the shop's name suggest, Roxanne's curates a brilliant collection of dried and preserved botanicals. The flowers themselves are hauntingly fragile and offer a reminder of their delicate preservation and vibrant past lives. While dried plants are naturally allowed to dehydrate and look both brittle and slightly faded, preserved flowers are placed in a glycerin bath that works to replace the plants moisture and maintain a "fresh" look, sans water. But, be assured, these are not the preserved flowers you may be familiar with. Roxanne's flowers are not synthetically preserved in the plasticized way that feels crude or disingenuous; rather, they are allowed to look ever so slightly tarnished by age resulting in wonderfully realistic and refined stalks.

dried naturally golden tansy

Roxanne's collection changes with the availability of flowers and often include a selection of unexpected vegetation that ensures these gorgeous stems are in no way a flashback to forgotten floral arrangements left as clutter in the homes of far too many grandmothers. Lemon leaves and boxwoods are stunning greens that are rarely found in conventional floral arsenals but Roxanne's makes them available in dried and preserved forms respectively.

Then there are the sunflowers; contorted and mangled petals wrap the sunflowers' seeded centers like the grasping hands of Schiele, clinging somberly, yet hopefully, to the future of life. Then follow the assortment of marcela star flowers, baby's breath, and German statice creating clouds of fragile flowers set atop nets of hairpin stems. Ming fern displays a tangle of feathered leaves that remind us the ticklish structure of dill while banana stems hold interlocking chains that suggest a skeletal, specifically vertebral, stalk that is pure sculpture.

dried echinops (globe thistle)

The flowers capture the diversity of natural texture ranging from dense and weight echinops, to tendrily amaranth and knobby tansy. Dried pomegranates and artichoke heads produce delightfully discomforting vegetal accents that remind us of their nourishing fresh lives while denying us the opportunity for flavor. Its a fantastic alternative to a cornucopian centerpieces.

Used in bouquets, the dried plants relay all the romanticism of flowers with the added complexity of breath-taking melancholy. While these elegant assortments are still impermanent, they do offer a prolonged alternative to fresh flowers. One can enjoy these transformed botanicals for their visual texture, they preserved fragrance, or their ghostly fragility, a fragility that makes many of them quiver in responsive to even the slightest brush of a breeze. We love to arrange sculpture bouquets that utilize the full breadth of color, shape, and texture provided by these dried beauties and we hope you find an opportunity to explore Roxanne’s creations!


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