Finest flowers for mom

FRESNO, Calif.

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

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

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.

"We wanted to see if the arrangements they deliver look like the arrangements they picture online."

Bernie Deitrick 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, including delivery.

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

"This was the orchid pictured on the website. This is the orchid we received," Deitrick said.

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.

"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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