Flowers for Mom

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Everything's coming up roses at this flower store. Florists say making Mother's Day arrangements keeps them busy.

Kevin Kegan says, "I would say it's a good 50 percent of all our business sales. So it's quite huge."

But if you can't choose your own bouquet, you can shop online for arrangements that are bursting with color. Consumer Reports ordered from three national websites - ProFlowers … 1-800-Flowers … and FTD.

Bernie Dietrick with Consumer Reports explains, "We wanted to see if the arrangements they deliver look like the arrangements they picture online."

Bernie opened two dozen deliveries and arranged them in vases. They included roses, tulips, and mixed flowers, as well as orchids that arrived in pots. The flowers cost 57 to 87 dollars, including delivery.

Judges compared photos of the flowers to the pictures on the florist's website.

Bernie says, "This was the orchid pictured on the website. This is the orchid we received."

Some of the bouquets proved a good match. But other arrangements didn't measure up. On FTD's website, the mixed flowers looked lovely. But the flowers FTD sent, pictured on the right, looked a lot different. Overall, the mixed bouquets were the most disappointing.

Bernie found, "There were more substitutions of flowers, different colors, different sizes."

1-800-Flowers was best at sending what was ordered. And their tulip bouquet was the best match of all. Here's how they're pictured online … and here's what arrived.

Of course, if you really want to plant a smile, nothing beats delivering the flowers yourself.

Once the flowers arrive, they'll last longer if you keep them in a cool spot, out of direct sunlight. The Society of American Florists also recommends using the little packet of flower food that comes with most bouquets, but says be sure to follow the directions.

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