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Testing Online Florists

If you are thinking about sending Mom a bouquet for Mother's Day, make sure you go with a trusted delivery service. The Good Housekeeping Institute evaluated 4 big-name delivery services but found only one that really delivered.

“We tested four leading floral delivery services that shipped directly from the grower,” says Charmaine Gillespie, Good Housekeeping Institute. “We wanted to see what the flowers looked like once they arrived, how long they lasted and whether or not the online purchases looked like the pictures on the Web site.”

The flowers were evaluated by the Good Housekeeping Institute, a panel of volunteers and floral designer René Hofstede of Mille Fiori Flowers. Martha Stewart Flowers, Flowerbud.com, 2G Roses and Calyx & Corolla were tested using both their 800 numbers and their Web sites. The average cost: $70 for a mixed bouquet and $11 for a vase.

Martha Stewart Flowers.com got raves for its design, but points off for execution. “The design, the combinations of the flowers as well as the tiapericane berries, was definitely nice. But the way they were sent, the roses were too open, so the petals were very damaged in the process,” says Rene Hofstede, Mille Fiori Floral Design.

The overall winners? The $79 bouquets and vases from Flowerbud.com. ”They decided 'ok, let's send green flowers and develop them on the vase, so that way they don't have all the damage but you do get a very beautiful bouquet after a few days of putting them in a vase, explains Hofstede.

Good Housekeeping says keep in mind the direct-from-grower bouquets did not come vase-ready, so if you order some for Mom, she will have to trim and size them.

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