Avoiding *flowers.com

Yesterday’s post may have been a bit overwhelming because I just advised you what not to do. So now what, you’ve found the FTD site and located just the right arrangement. And you’ve nearly completed the ordering process only to be told that “We do not deliver in your area(!)” I understand your frustration.

Let’s not get all hung up on FTD; there is another source for flowers. The local florist. In our very rural area, we are very blessed to have several resources to go to … Doug’s Flowers, Way-to-Go Florist and Greenhouse, Kent Farms, Tami’s Floral Expressions, Hannigan’s. These florists are spread throughout our county and over into the adjacent county. Some of them will deliver to both of our locations; some to only one depending upon where they are located.

We love all of our local florists. They bring in your flowers looking so lovely and professional. If a stem gets broken along the way they provide a new one, or do what they need to in order to make the arrangement look great. They never expect the funeral director to fix a floral problem. They deliver, rain or shine, hot or cold, at just the right time all with a smile and a friendly greeting.

And we happily feature their information on our website, in the “Resources” section.

In looking at funeral home web pages, you will see that most of them offer some sort of assistance in choosing a flower source. If there is no suggestion, simply call the funeral home and ask them for referrals. It is much simpler give out a list of merchants over the phone than to be responsible for getting boxed flowers to look good in the vase.

You could choose an alternative to sending flowers. Many obituaries single out charities that were significant to the deceased. Donations to these organizations in the name of the deceased are encouraged. The organization that receives the donation will send a note to the family indicating that you sent a monetary gift, so you can be assured that your tribute is not just falling into a black hole somewhere.

You could choose to just send a card of condolence to the next-of-kin. Either to the one who is closest to the deceased or the person with whom you have a relationship. You don’t need to fill it with words. Just a simple expression that you are sorry for their loss is sufficient.

And finally, if the area supports it, in a week just order a pizza to be delivered to the family. By then everything will have quieted down, the leftovers will all be gone, and no one will yet be up to cooking.



This posting begins the new category of “unsolicited advice.” Because sometimes, you just have to say it.

Don’t send internet flowers. If it has to be UPS’d, Fedex’d or DHL Express’d … just don’t do it. Boxed flowers are not going to be a satisfying experience. I think I can give you some compelling reasons to avoid this manner of expressing your sympathy.

  1. They don’t arrive in a timely fashion. — Often, boxed flowers arrive at the funeral home at a peak activity time. This means that your funeral director and his staff are occupied with the business of preparing for a funeral. When boxed flowers arrive, someone has to devote considerable time and attention to this service. If things are going smoothly in the funeral home, then the boxed flowers will get reasonable attention. If there are complications in the funeral home, the boxed flowers will fall to a low priority.
  2. They don’t arrive IN TIME. We returned from a post-funeral dinner to find this on our porch.img_20161111_125014560
  3. The flowers require a great deal of work. Just getting the product out of the packaging is time consuming. Next, the discovery is made that all the stems come in the same length. This means either dropping the conglomeration into the vase “as is” or trimming stems — and that takes time.
  4. A beautiful bouquet is dependent upon the skills of the arranger. Funeral directors and their staff may not be (read this: are not) trained and accomplished florists. Try as we might, the end result is not going to go so well. Those stems need to be trimmed and bows fluffed and just so much primping to make a bouquet look right.
  5. The flowers are not going to arrive in good condition. Consider the weather. If it is down to freezing at night, those flowers are going to wilt. If it is below freezing at night, those flowers are going to freeze. Alternatively, if there is a heatwave, the flowers are going to show the damage. Consider the weather from where the blooms begin their journey all the way to where the journey ends. At any point in the transport, your daisies are susceptible to some sort of weather related incident. The merchandiser likes for you to believe that flowers are resilient and will “perk back up” but, well, you know.
  6. You will be disappointed. Well, if you’re sending internet flowers, chances are you won’t even see them. But the display will be a disappointing tribute of your affection. Take a look at the images below.


In the “What they got” image, you cannot tell that the rose tips are all brown.


In this example, the item that they purchased was named “Stunning White Lily” arrangement. None of the lilies were in bloom. The snapdragons were suffering from having been too cold. The directions on the box were followed exactly. This arrangement arrived about 40 minutes before calling hours. Though the box promised that warm water would induce the blooms to open, the lead time was not sufficient to make that happen. The blooms on this arrangement did emerge three days later.

The blue accents were added. Though a person could not tell it by looking, the arrangement actually looked worse without the additions.

While the marketing on the outside of the boxes pledged “Better Flowers,” I believe that the actual product fell far short of meeting the promise.

I have given you only two examples. But not once has the final result with boxed flowers led me to believe that this internet product is a good value.