Selecting a good bouquet from the bodega is not hard if you do a little bit of due diligence. So it's really, really important to pick up the bouquet out of whatever container it's in at the bodega. So don't just go judging by the way the flowers look on top. You've got to really pick everything up and look at the plastic wrap. Is the plastic wrap foggy? Does it look like it's been cooking there for a little while? What's the placement of the flowers like? Have they been in the sun or exposed to the elements at all? Inside the plastic wrap, do the stems look slimy or brown? Are the leaves falling off?
Sometimes you pick something up out of the bodega bucket, and all of a sudden leaves fall right off it. That's a clue that it's too old and not going to work for you. The last resort is you can also ask the person who runs the bodega, "How long have these been here? When did they come in," or wait and see if you can find a day when they have a shipment of flowers or ask them, "When do your flowers come in?" That's always the best time to buy, because things haven't been moved around and shoved around and been cooking for a long time.