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It’s not the fried chicken, though she loves that too.

There are plenty of reasons why our readers voted Publix the South’s Best Grocery Store this year. From the deli’s picnic-worthy sub sandwiches to the bakery’s tooth-achingly sweet sugar cookies and all the Buy-One-Get-One deals our little hearts could want, the Southern grocery store chain can do no wrong. Heck, Publix team members at one Alabama store location even rescued a young shopper’s beloved bunny from a LANDFILL. What’s not to love?

While I’ll admit that I’m not always faithful to my neighborhood Publix, as the Winn-Dixie is a hair closer to my house, there's one thing that will always bring me back to Publix, even if it means two separate trips to the grocery store that week: fresh-cut hydrangeas.

Fresh flowers are the most foolproof styling trick in the book. Whether you twirl up an enormous arrangement for your entry or just plop a stem or two in a julep cup on a guest room nightstand, flowers are a simple way to make rooms feel both more inviting and more finished. Hydrangeas are a solid choice for the no-fail decorating move because they’re big, full blossoms that visually take up a lot of space: Two or three stems fill a small vase, which means you can make a major impact without spending a whole lot of money.

You can find hydrangeas at most grocery stores, but I’ve found that, in my experience, no grocery store carries better hydrangeas than Publix. At $12 for 3 stems, they pack a pretty, inexpensive punch, plus Publix typically has the blue and white varieties in stock, so you can either mix it up or keep it simple and stick to just one hue. Best of all, though, Publix’s hydrangeas are sturdy … They seem to last forever.

A little over two weeks ago, my roommate surprised me with a few hydrangea stems on my nightstand. While the petals’ edges slowly started to brown five or so days ago, it took until last night—fifteen days after my roommate brought them home—for the blooms to full-on wilt and finally bite the dust. I don’t know Publix’s secret, but I’m all about whatever magic they use to keep their hydrangeas looking fresh, and it's one of many reasons I'll keep making my weekly stop at the South's best grocery store. 

WATCH: Why Publix Is The South's Best Grocery Store

What's your gotta-have-it item at Publix? Share it with us in the comments.