GETTING FRESH, STAYING FRESH

Freshness is the end-all and be-all of the floral department, industry experts agree. "Consumers don't remember how much they paid for flowers. What they do remember is whether or not they lasted a decent length of time," Tom Lavagetto, founder and president of The Floral Consulting Group, Spokane, Wash., is fond of saying.Yet, who's to blame when a less-than-delighted consumer looks at a bunch of

Freshness is the end-all and be-all of the floral department, industry experts agree. "Consumers don't remember how much they paid for flowers. What they do remember is whether or not they lasted a decent length of time," Tom Lavagetto, founder and president of The Floral Consulting Group, Spokane, Wash., is fond of saying.

Yet, who's to blame when a less-than-delighted consumer looks at a bunch of dying daisies two days after she brought them home? Most experts agree that it starts w

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