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BEST FLORIST Minneapolis 2000 -

Readers' Choice: Bachman's

Few shops, florists' or otherwise, are as instantly enticing as this one. First you glimpse the little storefront just south of Excelsior Boulevard, decorated with aluminum pails filled with lanky pussy willow stems. Then you walk inside and are immediately embraced by a rushing floral scent, caressed by the moist air and lush greenery. It's very nearly overwhelming: refrigerators filled with clusters of fresh-cut, vibrantly colored flowers (there are always a few varieties on sale, like a big bunch of hearty ranunculus for just $8, or tulips for $10); the many verdant plants at the front of the store (everything from tiny bonsai trees to tins of potted grass); the tables overflowing with potted orchids in magenta and white, their delicate heads bowed over gracefully (they range from $55 to $75). But even more exquisite are the artful arrangements of daisies, snapdragons, lilies, lilacs, tulips--even exotic flowers like birds of paradise. They're on display on a table in the center of the shop, priced anywhere from $35 to $50 (vase included), and they, or your own custom arrangement, can be delivered throughout the metro area for a nominal charge ($6 to downtown, for example). Special orders aren't a problem, though you may want to call ahead a day or two so the store can get the desired blooms from the distributor--sweet peas for your sweet pea, perhaps?

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