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Friday
May062011

Mother's Day Online Florist Tip: Skip the Mixed Bouquet

Dynamic Graphics/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Your safest bet for ordering Mother's Day flowers online are tulips, roses or orchids.  And avoid the mixed bouquets.

That's the advice from Consumer Reports, which sampled different arrangements from several online florists.

One tip: beware of mixed bouquets for sale on Web sites.  According to Consumer Reports, mixed bouquets are worth avoiding if shopping for your mother or any other loved one.

"Avoid ordering a mixed bouquet based on what we saw.  It's least likely to look like what's pictured on the site," said Consumer Reports spokeswoman Melissa Valentino.

But, there's a reason mixed bouquets may not fare well when ordered online.

"A lot of times the flowers are out of season or there's some type of trauma with the grower," says Rick Scott, the head designer of Greenworks at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C.  "The way to combat that is to say if we don't have [the flowers on the Web site to] use your second choice."

In a small study, Consumer Reports ordered and evaluated roses, tulips, orchids and mixed bouquets from 1800Flowers.com, ProFlowers.com, FTD.com to find the merchant that did the most impressive job delivering what consumers ordered.  The judges were asked to offer an opinion from thrilled to horrified on photos of the actual deliveries that were arranged to resemble the images presented on the Web site.

The result: 1800Flowers.com won the top spot for places to shop for flowers that closely resembled the orders purchased online.

"It's difficult to know if it looks just as well in person as on the web site.  It's a hit or miss," says Scott.  "Tulips and roses are pretty much a sure bet.  [However], when you go into specific types, such as Dutch tulips, French tulips, and van-dyke tulips, that's when you run into problems."

Whether ordering flowers for Mother's Day or any other special occasion, Consumer Reports recommends ordering tulips, roses and orchids for flowers that closely resemble the Web site.

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ABC News Radio