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Long Island shop owners recall favorite Mother's Day gifts

Up With Paper's desktop notes comes with notepaper

Up With Paper's desktop notes comes with notepaper (125 sheets) in a charming pop-up keepsake box of various designs, including butterflies, flowers, kitchen gadgets and this white dogwood; $15.99 at Michael Tyler Stationers, Manhattan; and Credit: Handout

Porter Fox may only be 6, but he's pretty confident when it comes to picking blooms for Mother's Day. The key, it seems, is practice.

"The other day, I came back from a business trip . . . and there was the most beautiful bouquet of pink roses waiting for me," recalls Amy Fox, Porter's mom, owner of the Sayville boutique Rosie's Handmade Revolution. She thought they were from her husband, but not so, said Porter. "They're from me!"

Setauket native Ben Busko is also a flower guy when it comes to mom.

"At age 10 . . . I searched for days until I found the perfect flower," recalls Busko, owner of Ben's Garden in Oyster Bay and Huntington. "It was a dandelion I picked, and it stood out in a field of hundreds, just as my mother does for me."

For Mother's Day that year, he made a decoupage tray with a picture of the dandelion and the words "style, elegance and beauty." It still hangs on her living room wall today . . . and Busko built a business around decoupage gifts and gardening.

Allison Julius also has gotten flowers on Mom's Day -- from her pooches. (They apparently enlist her husband to handle payment and delivery.)

"One year, he sent me a flower arrangement that looked like a dog, made of white mums, with floppy ears and googly eyes," recalls Julius, owner of Maison 24, a boutique in Bridgehampton and Manhattan. Their Maltese wasn't having it.

"She barked at it nonstop. We had to hide it."

Which just goes to show -- finding the right gift for mom can be tricky. We've got some great ideas, from these three shops and more, for hardworking mothers everywhere.

For Mom, but for Haiti, too

Isn't it like Mom to always think of others?

Help her along with this charity auction, sponsored by Fashion for Haiti: One Million Hearts.

Bid on a collection of papier-mâché hearts created by 150 designers, including Diane von Furstenberg, Tory Burch and Donna Karan's Urban Zen Foundation (pictured). All proceeds benefit the Haitian Artisan Project's jobs and education programs; now through Thursday on

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