ATLANTA -- Retail experts predict Americans will spend close to $2 billion on Valentine Flowers this year.

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But when you're sending flowers to a loved one, how can you be sure they're getting what you expected?

We putthree national floral delivery companies and two local florists to the test by ordering arrangements in the $50 range. I ordered arrangements from Pro Flowers, 1800Flowers, FTD and two local florists, Carithers and Peachtree Petals.

The final prices ranged from $52 to $59, including delivery.

All five bouquets arrived on the day they were scheduled to.

The Carithers Orchid Arrangement was identical to the one pictured on the florist's website.

FTD's was similar but with a different vase and no white Baby's Breath among the red roses and carnations.

1-800 Flowers sent an arrangment that was much sparser than the arrangement pictured and with only one rose.

The ProFlowers mix of Irises and Tulips were not in water. The buds were closed and the leaves were limp.

Peachtree Petals had recommended a custom arrangement based on our budget. The bouquet featured red and pink roses, lilies, tulips and other flowers. It was the largest.

Twenty-four11Alive Staff members judged the arrangments and ranked them in this order from Best to Worst:

1-Peachtee Petals





We contacted Pro Flowers by phone and email to ask them about our flowers, but didn't get a response.

Sherry Moon from the Georgia State Florist Association recommends consumers shop from local florists. If ordering flowers for an out-of-town loved one, she suggested contacting a local florist with whom you have a relationship and having them contact a florist in a city where you want to send flowers. Alternatively, consumers can contact an out-of-town florist directly after doing some online research. "Order locally because if you order from an 800 number or website you're going to be paying extra prices and fees," she said.

Moon, who owns Buckhead Wright's Florist, said the quality of roses can vary greatly. She said a good quality bouquet should still look appealing after seven days.

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