Are cheap roses a good buy? That depends.

Men know that women are absolutely delighted to receive a bouquet of roses. A single, red rose, conveying everlasting, 'you're the one', is always a hit.

However, an old bunch of cheap roses, picked up at a florist's sale, won't do the trick. You can find some fresh roses of good quality, but you must be choosy and know where to shop.

Here a couple of hints for you gents. If the cheap roses you're considering are half open when you buy them, they'll be losing petals by tomorrow morning. Thus, this bouquet becomes much less convincing to the lady of your intended sentiments. The buds must be just on the verge of opening. You must also know that Valentine's and Mother's Day are not usually good dates to find good deals on cheap roses.

For fresh roses that are both relatively inexpensive and of good quality, your best bet may be found online, as these shops deal in volume and typically have less overhead than the famed flower purveyor in an exclusive downtown location. However, an independent flower stand might have just what you're looking for, both in quality and wallet-friendliness.

There are other options, besides the fresh roses, which are available at times of the year when roses carry a price tag that make your bouquet a truly luxury purchase. Silk roses are one such alternative. Technology has advanced to the extent that your true love may not be able to tell the difference, at least, not until she sees there's no water required! What's remarkable about silk roses is that not only are they stunning reproductions, they're also cheap roses, especially when you consider they may be washed and last for years.

A silk rose of superior quality, tied with lace and a delicate red satin ribbon will be prized as highly as the fresh rose. She'll doubtless place it in a bud vase to repose on her dresser for years to come. Each time she sees it, it reminds her of how wonderful you are.

Blown glass roses are equally lovely and are well received by any woman. The realism, combined with the cleverness of this unusual medium, make this option quite attractive. Again, these cheap roses are cheap by virtue of their longevity.

Now, if you've got money to burn, here's the ultimate package. Buy a bouquet of long-stemmed red roses from the independent flower vendor. (You've got to save where you can!) Before you deliver this dripping-with-romance gift to your beloved, take it home and arrange them in a vase. Get the digital camera out and snap pics from all four sides. Now, deliver the fresh bouquet. Take your pics to a florist, who can recreate a silk reproduction which keeps forever. By the time the blooms fade, your everlasting bouquet is ready.

Your lady love is guaranteed to love any of these options. Just never tell her they're cheap roses.

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