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Thumbs down . . . Grace Hendriks is disgusted with the flowers delivered to her last Friday. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

A Mother’s Day treat turned into a nasty surprise for an elderly Oamaru woman.

Reed St resident Grace Hendriks (91) was sent flowers and a box of chocolates from her eldest daughter and youngest son, who live in the Netherlands. They were not sure of the date of Mother’s Day in New Zealand this year, so the gift was delivered to Mrs Hendriks last Friday.

She was appalled with what she received – a small cardboard box into which was squished a posy of wilted and damaged flowers, and a small box of chocolates.

One of the roses had broken off its stem; some of the gerbera petals were brown and their stalks were perishing in plastic tubes. A head of carnations had been split into several weak stems, a tiny lily was broken in the centre of the posy and the foliage looked like “hedge clippings”, Mrs Hendriks said.

The cardboard cube containing the arrangement was collapsing as moisture soaked into it.

Mrs Hendriks’ son, Paul, said the gift cost $NZ67.85 through Teleflora’s Petals Network.

Mrs Hendriks phoned the 0800 number on the packaging on Friday to complain, and also contacted the courier company that delivered the flowers.

She has not yet heard back from Petals.

When the Oamaru Mail phoned it on Tuesday, a spokeswoman said the matter would have been referred to its quality team.

“It’s disappointing. We don’t want that to happen. We will follow it up and get it sorted out.”

Mr Hendriks contacted the Oamaru Mail to say Petals was responding in a more neutral and respecting way than the florist, who had accused his mother of “kicking up a stink”.

The florist has undertaken to send a replacement bouquet at her own cost.

Mrs Hendriks said Oamaru has “two great florists in the main street” and she hated to think their reputations could be tarnished by any connection to the flowers she received. She wished her children had shopped at one of the Oamaru businesses.