Best Florist (2006)
Anyone can order blooms over an 800 number. If you want to send a unique flower arrangement, call Avant Garden, known for simple but lush flower displays in sleek containers, often with blossoms in one color mounded for impact. Avant has a reputation for touches of whimsy, like a live chrysalis with a due date for the butterfly tucked into a bouquet of roses. Owner Brian Bolke (also co-owner of fashion retailer Forty Five Ten) often is called on by national shelter magazines for party and wedding ideas, so he's always got something new up his sleeve. The tiny three-story shop at Highland Park Village is a fun place to browse for your own ideas. Call Avant's style "luxurious simplicity"--harder to achieve than it sounds.
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