Colombia is the largest flower cultivator for the US flower market, claiming 70 percent of the industry. According to Smithsonian.com, “If you buy a bouquet in a supermarket, big-box store or airport kiosk, it probably came from the Bogotá savanna.” That also held true for our online flower deliveries — many of our ordered bouquets came marked with a sticker or stamp that said, “Product of Colombia.” (Others arrived unmarked, with no indication of origin.) Just a 3-hour flight from Miami, Colombia has the perfect climate for year-round flower growth and farming, and annually ships more than $1 billion in blossoms.
The Chicago bouquet was delivered in a clear glass vase, dropped off by hand with no box or wrapping — the delivery person just handed us the vase of flowers and that was it. The arrangement was kissed with tiny daisies we didn’t know would be there, and dramatic, trailing greenery trickled down the sides of the vase. It didn’t look like its picture online (which actually makes the bouquet look sparse); it was better. It was also bigger by a third than most of the other bouquets we received, and carefully arranged to set off the red roses, which were fresh and at the height of their beginning-to-open beauty. They smelled wonderful. We were stunned.
Flower.com. While boasting a less-cluttered website than its twin company, JustFlowers.com, Flower.com still has, to put it bluntly, a crappy website. Blurry pictures, poor product descriptions, and an overall “it’s 2002 and online shopping is a new phenomenon” feeling left a bad taste in our mouths. But, the bouquet itself was perfection and looked just like its (blurry) online picture — at least, in Chicago and North Carolina. But the bouquets received poor scores in both Wisconsin and Seattle. Our Wisconsin tester reported that while her flowers weren’t show-stopping, they looked decent — once they actually arrived. Delivery was delayed — twice — because the florist was out of red roses. At our Seattle location, we were greeted with a bouquet that looked drastically different than the online photo, complete with a different vase, no baby’s breath, and a scant amount of greenery. You win some; you lose some, but at $85.46 for a dozen delivered roses, it’s an expensive gamble.