Our 15 Favorite Florists in the United States. The creative talent on this list is incredible!

"In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends." - Kozuko Okakura

There's no one who doesn't like getting flowers. Whether its a bouquet of roses to say "I love you" (or, more often, "I'm sorry), a sunny vase for a sick person or an arrangement to express support in times of sorrow, flowers work magic.

It's no surprise then that there are 14 thousand florists in the U.S., with annual sales topping 26 billion dollars. That's a lot of stems.

If you're the lucky recipient, these three tips will make them last so you can enjoy them much longer:

-Cut flower stems at an angle before you put them in the vase - that increases the "surface area" and lets them absorb more of the water.

Another old-school trick is to cut them under running water, to give them a big H20 infusion, during "surgery."

-Use clean, room-temperature water in the vase, and replace it every other day.

-Keep flowers out of direct sunlight.

And now that you know how to keep those blooms "blooming," here are 15 great florist shops to check out around the country.

1.BOSTON: WINSTON FLOWERS

It started in 1944 as a humble pushcart in front of the Ritz-Carlton; from there, it's grown into one the city's premiere florists. They work hard to work with other New England growers and vendors, and have won multiple awards for excellence over the years.

2.NEW YORK CITY: GARDENIA ORGANIC

Locals love this quirky shop, located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Along with the usual pretty bouquets, they'll design arrangements around such "New Age-y" sentiments like "gratitude" or "healing" with a handwritten card explaining the particular "vibe" of the featured flowers.

3.PHILADELPHIA: PURE DESIGN

They service everyone from tony Main Line residents throwing a dinner party to someone just wanting a nice gift for a co-worker. Customers are almost "cult-like" over the shop's unique flowers and outstanding customer service.

4.ATLANTA: CANDLER PARK FLOWER MART

For 20 years, it's been a funky fixture in the neighborhood. Locals give raves over their reasonable prices and outstanding designs, from a bridal bouquet to a funeral arrangement.

5.NEW ORLEANS: CARROLTON FLOWER MARKET

It's in the heart of "The Big Easy," but delivers a true 'English country garden" vibe. The shop has been around for 30 years, delivering plenty of "Sorry I acted like a jerk" bouquets right after Mardi Gras.

6.CHICAGO: DILLY LILLY

They've been a favorite around the Windy City since 1997. Their designs get a "green thumbs up" not just for their look, but for using blooms grown on socially-responsible farms that use sustainable methods.

7.MINNEAPOLIS: CHEZ BLOOM

This shop prides itself on creating "non-traditional" arrangements, using locally-grown flowers from greenhouses in the Land of 10,000 Lakes (that's Minnesota, in case you didn't know). Their customer service is also insane - one customer reports that the owners actually bought a balloon for a baby in the NICU room, to add to their floral delivery for the mom.

8.DALLAS: LANE FLORIST

Around since 1961, they regularly win awards for their creations and flower quality (meeting the highest grades in the business). And they don't believe in letting good blooms go to waste, offering half-price on flowers after 4:30 or all day Saturday.

9.AUSTIN: MERCEDES FLOWERS AND WHOLESALE FLOWER MARKET

It started in Mexico, with a woman (the original "Mercedes") who was one of the leading florists in that country. When her family moved to Texas, her namesake daughter took over the business. For almost 40 years, locals have loved the quality and attention to detail that this family business delivers.

10.DENVER: THE TWISTED TULIP

They bill themselves as a "European style" shop, with breathtaking arrangements. But they also believe in supporting local artists, and give fine arts paintings, glass designs and more works a gorgeous setting in which to be displayed - among the blooms.

11.ALBUQUERQUE: PEOPLE'S FLOWERS

It originally opened in 1944, and in 1980, the next generation joined the business. They work hard to ensure that their flowers and plants last as long as possible, with a "Freshness Care System" and a no-questions-asked policy for refund or exchange.

12.LAS VEGAS: ENGLISH GARDEN FLORIST

Their goal is to create artful, fresh creations, the kind of unique arrangements you'd expect in a town known for "unique." Customers regularly return for the amazing customer service and the prices of their quality designs. It's one place in that town that you're guaranteed a "win."

13.SEATTLE: TOPPER'S EUROPEAN FLORAL DESIGN

Locals note that it's a little pricey, but you're guaranteed absolute top quality in both the blooms and the super-unique look of their arrangements. The shop has been around since 1983 and has been named one of the "15 Best Florists in America" by Working Woman magazine.

14.SAN FRANCISCO: FARMGIRL FLOWERS

This quirky shop is a favorite for its hand-tied bouquets delivered in a burlap wrap! Plus, they're passionate about supporting American growers and only buy from them (versus the 80% of floral items that are imported).

15.LOS ANGELES: DAVE'S FLOWERS

This Hollywood institution has provided arrangements for the Hollywood Bowl, the William Morris agency and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, to name a few. But locals know to stop in for one-of-a-kind arrangements created from their stock of exotics, orchids and other beautiful blooms.

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