There's something about flowers that goes straight to a woman's heart. Maybe it's the vibrant color, sweet aroma or just the fact that they're pretty to look at. And for those of us who didn't plan ahead for a Mother's Day gift, they're a pretty simple gift to pick out. Here, we make it even easier:
Ovando: If this esteemed floral and event design company is good enough to provide flowers for Chanel, Hotel Gansevoort and Nobu, it's perfect for the woman who raised you. The artistic arrangements have a clean, modern aesthetic -- and that goes for the limited-edition "Tantalizing Tulips" bouquet, with two kinds of tulips wrapped in a Thai leaf. (Note: The West Village location offers evening workshops; learn to make a terrarium on May 18.)
337 Bleecker St. and 19 E. 65th St.; 212-924-7848
Banchet: The stunning blooms at this Meatpacking District flower shop -- named for its owner, the Thailand-born Banchet Jaigla -- are just as stylish as the designer clothes you'll find in the nearby boutiques. No carnations or hydrangeas here: The arrangements are edgy and sophisticated, and feature out-of-the-ordinary flowers like Luxor roses and "Black Magic" vanda orchids. (And if you're looking to throw a party, the 18,000-square-foot shop doubles as an event space.)
809 Washington St.; 212-989-1088
The Orchid Man: The largest orchid business in Manhattan, this mostly wholesale shop is a kaleidoscope of colorful phalaenopsis (in both standard 6-inch and the 4-inch "mini"). According to manager Sun Lee (who's usually out making deliveries), white is the preferred choice for Mother's Day, but the pink, purple, yellow and orange are hard to turn down. And if you want something more seasonal, go with the oncidiums.
762 10th Ave.; 212-247-5038
Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Garden Shop: Explore the Garden's C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum, home to one of the largest collections of bonsai on display outside of Japan, for inspiration before heading to this on-site garden shop, located in the Steinhardt Conservatory complex. It carries several varieties of bonsai, and if Mom is a beginner gardener (or just has a brown thumb), pick up a copy of "Growing Bonsai Indoors," written and published by the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
900 Washington Ave., Brooklyn; 718-623-7280
Plant Shed New York Flowers: With 10,000 square feet spread over three floors, there's a LOT to look at at this 30-plus-year-old UWS retailer. (And anyone who's bought flowers knows the "but they're all so pretty!" feeling.) Manager Jay Casiano makes choosing easy, recommending the "gorgeous and traditional" bouquet of purple stock, pink roses, lavender lilacs, white lilies and light pink peonies in a white ceramic pitcher.
209 W. 96th St.; 212-662-4400