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An elaborate arrangement will wow your mom on Mother's Day, and a dozen roses are always a sure-fire winner -- especially on Valentine's Day!

But giving flowers is a lot easier if you know when, where, and how to buy them

Feeling like an expert also gives you confidence that you're getting the freshest flowers at the best price.

Just up ahead, check out a guide to buying flowers online or at your local florist with tips on where to look, what flowers are in season, and how to complain if things get wilty, along with photo references and related resources around the web:

Buying flowers online

If you're nervous about sending flowers that you haven't seen first hand, take heart.

Long distance flowers are a big business and the well known names have built a reputation on their customer service. And remember that competition for your attention is fierce! So take the opportunity to shop around at some of the big names in online flower delivery to find the best quality bouquet at a price you can afford.

An added advantage? Online florists cover more than flowers. On most sites, you'll find gift baskets with food products or seasonal items, and most online flower shops offer easy browsing by price, and even by age or occupation.

Finally, keep a watch on delivery charges which may be a deal breaker when they add a hefty amount to the final bill.

Buying flowers at a local florist

If shopping local is more your style, at brick-and-mortar shops you can browse and order flower arrangements right there and then, and receive first-hand professional advice on what's fresh and affordable. A neighborhood business will also be more than eager to please a new customer. especially if that someone will be back for the next holiday or special occasion.

For even cheaper and more convenient options, also consider your local supermarket produce section. Or, check out neighborhood fruit and vegetable stands that may offer bouquets. These usually come already wrapped in festive paper for convenient one-stop shopping!

Need help finding a florist? Use the Internet to find local florists in your neighborhood.

Buying flowers in season

Like seasonal fruits and vegetables, different flowers come on the market depending on the time of year. Added Bonus: besides being the freshest choice, they are also abundant and therefore more affordable.

For a visual reference, check out the photo gallery just up ahead to help you buy flowers when they're at their peak of freshness:

Don't be afraid to complain

If you do have a bad experience, especially online, call the customer hotline immediately to let them know.

One husband we know -- who sent a large, expensive birthday bouquet to his wife complained about a wilted arrangement that had arrived ...a day late!

Not only did he receive an abject apology, but the company also sent replacement bouquet and a gift certificate for another bouquet of the same value.

With a simple phone call, the whole experience quickly turned from a losing proposition for the husband to his becoming a consumer hero in the eyes of his grateful spouse.

also see -> Caring for Poinsettia Plants | Caring for Easter Lilies

also see in Holidays -> Mother's Day | Valentine's Day

More about buying flowers online around the Web:

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