Florists are truly upping their game when it comes to letterbox flowers, creating beautiful arrangements designed to explode into life moments after dropping onto your doormat. After putting a wide range of letterbox bouquets to the test, we’ve come away with several realisations (and possibly a spot of hay fever).
First of all, although it’s hard to know what the end product will look like, quirky, colourful packaging is always a bonus – it uplifts the entire gifting experience and lends a sense of anticipation.
Secondly, don’t be put off by bouquets that don’t list specific types of flower, and merely reference seasonal or hand-picked blooms. Selecting a bouquet purely because it contains a certain type of stem ties you to that variety, so even if the florist’s stocks are looking past their best on the day they’re dispatched, that’s what will go in the box. Trusting a florist to choose the most seasonal blooms won’t just mean the flowers are more likely to be in tip-top condition, but will also typically mean better value for money, because there will be more flowers to choose from.
Keen to keep your blooms looking fresh for as long as possible? We’ve got some tips from Caroline Grimble, lead florist at Bloom & Wild.
“Trimming your flower stems before popping them in water is a must,” says Caroline. “It’s also important to cut the stems at an angle, because this creates more surface area for the flower to drink from. Aim to cut three to five centimetres off the bottom of the stem, and refresh the water regularly. I like to recut my stems by one centimetre when I refresh the water, to keep the blooms happy and healthy.”
As for Caroline’s most unusual tip? Keep your flowers well away from the fruit bowl: “Fruits release gases that cause flowers to bloom and fade quicker than they would otherwise, so keep your arrangement away from your apples and pears!”
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism acrossThe Independent.
The best letterbox flowers for 2021 are:
Best overall – Serenata Flowers floral ratatouille: £29.99, Serenataflowers.com
Best for wow factor – Calabasas bunny tails: £22, Calabasas.co.uk
Best for variety – Bunches florist’s choice letterbox flowers: £28, Bunches.co.uk
Best for romance – Moonpig letterbox roses: £24, Moonpig.com
Best for old-school elegance – Waitrose rose & lily letterbox flowers: £26, Waitroseflorist.com
Best for fragrance – Serenata Flowers felicity: £29.99, Serenataflowers.com
Best for a natural look – Arena Flowers sunny day: £29.99, Arenaflowers.com
Best value – Next thinking of you letterbox flowers: £20, Flowers.next.co.uk
Best for minimum preparation – Flying Flowers coral carnation letterbox, £23.99, Flyingflowers.co.uk
Best for seasonal blooms – Arena Flowers nature’s finest: £27.99, Arenaflowers.com
Best for unusual stems – Bloom & Wild the ari: £40, Bloomandwild.com
Best for longevity – Moonpig letterbox dried pink collection: £20, Moonpig.com
Serenata Flowers floral ratatouille
Get the sunglasses ready because this is one seriously bright dose of flower power – an eye-wateringly bright selection of flowers that offers a hit of floral scent, too. Our favourite flowers in the selection, packaged in Serenata’s pretty colour-coordinated wrapping, were the bright orange lilies, although we also loved the blush-pink roses. The flowers arrived in bud and opened the next day. When it comes to value, this bunch is hard to beat – courier delivery (on a specified day) is included, and there was a much bigger selection than the average letterbox flower arrangements. Additionally, unlike many bouquets containing roses (which often have only one or two) there was a bountiful supply of both roses and lilies.
Buy now £29.99, Serenataflowers.com
Calabasas dusky pink tails
Best: For wow factor
If bog-standard hydrangeas won’t cut it, consider these so-called bunny tails (aka Lagurus ovatus, for any horticulturalists out there) from Calabasas, a new florist. Married couple Faye and Akil launched their company in early 2021, and specialise in dried grasses. Our letterbox-friendly grasses came in a plain cardboard box (we’ll forgive the misspelling of our name), albeit with rather random scraps of parcel tape seemingly slapped on. Our dusky pink bunny tails were wrapped in complementary orange paper, and came with the added extra of a bag of sweets wrapped in a retro-striped (orange, obviously) paper bag. The dusky pink variety are currently sold out, but there’s a whole range of colours available, ranging from hot pink to a gorgeous slate grey.
We loved the detailed care guide – dried flowers are seriously low maintenance, but we still learned some valuable tips. Who knew that a quick spritz of hairspray can stop pampas grass from shedding, for example? Three weeks after the delivery date, our bunny tails still look fantastic, and we’ve got high hopes they’ll last all year – although they will naturally shed, with a little care, dried grasses can last for years. Our one complaint? We’d love to have seen the £4.20 delivery charge (for three-to-five-day delivery) incorporated into the initial price.
Buy now £22.00, Calabasas.co.uk
Bunches florist’s choice letterbox flowers
Best: For variety
Despite the fact that the letterbox flowers trend has been around for a while, it appears quite a few posties haven’t cottoned on – we’ve lost count of how many boxes of flowers we’ve found propped up against our front door, resulting in some seriously wilted blooms. For this reason we loved the reminder on the outside of this fully recyclable box, adorned with the words: “Dear Postie, I fit through the letterbox.” Don’t know your carnations from your cornflowers? Leave it to the experts and opt for Bunches’ brilliant florist’s choice arrangement. Our flowers, accompanied by a pretty gift card and wrapped in pastel-hued tissue paper, included a wide range of seasonal blooms in various stages – some had just opened, and some were still in bud, which added a welcome dash of variety to the arrangement. We also loved the free delivery (on a nominated day).
This was truly a gift which kept on giving: five days after arranging our bouquet, three super-sized lilies exploded into bloom.
Buy now £28.00, Bunches.co.uk
Moonpig letterbox roses
Best: For romance
Sometimes, only roses will do, and we’re slightly smitten with the Moonpig roses, which slid through our letterbox seamlessly. Everything about the package screams sophistication, from the cheery pink and blue box, sealed with stickers, not tape, to the beautiful arrangement, comprising 12 stalks, placed end-to-end to reduce the risk of squashed buds, with six pink buds at one end and six yellow ones at the other. The best bit (aside from the bargain basement £2.99 next-day delivery charge and the five-days-of-freshness guarantee)? No pesky thorns and hardly any foliage on the stalks themselves, which meant minimal preparation. But there’s certainly a time and a place for some well-chosen greenery, which is why we loved the inclusion of some leafy sprigs to display alongside the roses.
Buy now £24.00, Moonpig.com
Waitrose rose & lily letterbox flowers
Best: For old-school elegance
Whether you’re apologising or professing your love, we guarantee that this beautiful bouquet will significantly increase the chances of your preferred outcome. The weightiness of the box suggested this gorgeous selection of roses and lilies erred on the generous side, and we were right. What’s more, the flowers were all delivered in bud, ready to open (ours did so within 24 hours of arrival). Although the roses and lilies were the star of the show, the carefully chosen extras complemented the blooms especially well – we were particularly keen on the feather-like sprigs of greenery, which provided the perfect contrast to the weightiness of the heavier flowers. The accompanying instructions were also fantastic, and had detailed guide pictures of the flowers both in bud and in bloom.
Buy now £26.00, Waitroseflorist.com
Serenata Flowers felicity
Best: For fragrance
We love a fragrant home – we’ve fired up more diffusers and lit more candles than you can shake a (incense) stick at, but this sunny, fragrant bouquet was a reminder that nothing can match the heady scent of fresh blooms. Roses and freesias dominated this generously sized bunch, and Serenata’s flowers quickly filled our living room with their rich, powdery scent. We appreciated the detailed instructions, as well as the attention to detail – the colour of the ribbon paired perfectly with the box’s brightly hued interior, all of which matters when you’re sending flowers as a gift.
Buy now £29.99, Serenataflowers.com
Arena Flowers sunny day
Best: For a natural look
Sunshine-yellow roses steal the show with this beautiful bunch, although the thoughtfully chosen selection of wilder, more rugged blooms and some statuesque stems of greenery means this bouquet, which comes with free delivery, will appeal to anyone drawn to a more carefree, wildflower-inspired arrangement. We particularly loved the differing shapes and sizes, ranging from craspedia, famous for having smooth balls of tightly-clustered petals, to the long-stemmed roses and delicate carnations. Arena Flowers is a great option for earth warriors too – for every bouquet sold, one tree will be planted in a country with high poverty levels.
Buy now £29.99, Arenaflowers.com
Next thinking of you lettterbox flowers
It’s all about the blooms with Next’s letterbox flowers, which are sent (for free) via Royal Mail and come in a plain cardboard box – there’s not a hint of artificial dye or plastic in sight. We also loved the addition of a sticker on the wrapping surrounding the flowers, which said “shhh, they’re sleeping.” Inside was a generous selection of flowers in natural hues (mainly white, cream and yellow), along with a few choice sprigs of greenery. Our favourite bit about the ordering process? Next’s website clearly lists exactly which flowers are included, which means you’re not simply relying on a photo, but a more detailed explanation of the flowers that will make up the bouquet.
Buy now £20.00, Flowers.next.co.uk
Flying Flowers coral carnation letterbox
Best: For minimum preparation
There’s more quirkiness courtesy of Flying Flowers, more specifically a bright green box adorned with the slogan “Hello petal!” We challenge anyone not to feel uplifted by the eye-wateringly bright packaging, which in our case comprised neon-green paper wrapped around the flowers, held in place with a day-glo orange sticker. This particular bouquet was both wonderfully hassle-free to prepare (there was minimal greenery on the carnation stalks) and brilliant value – we received 20 carnation stems in various shades of pink and orange, and the delivery is free.
In summary? A carefully-prepared bouquet suitable for all occasions, whether you’re looking for flowers for birthdays, anniversaries or as thank you gifts.
Buy now £23.99, Flyingflowers.com
Arena Flowers nature’s finest
Best: For seasonal blooms
We loved this seasonally selected cluster of white and yellow blooms from Arena Flowers, which came tied with a ribbon and was carefully packed so that the flowers’ heads weren’t going to be squashed in transit. Although hardly any of the flowers were in bud, and most of the blooms already fully open, they arrived in fantastic condition. Unlike some of the flowers we’d received during the same week (at the start of a ridiculously hot June), they showed no sign of wilting, and they appeared to be made of sturdy stuff, too – it was one week before we deployed the accompanying plant food. We loved the thoughtful extra of the QR code on the instructions, which we could scan for more information relating to caring for our blooms.
Buy now £27.99, Arenaflowers.com
Bloom & Wild the ari
Best: For unusual stems
Yes, Bloom and & Wild’s flowers might come with a slightly higher price tag (although on the plus side, delivery is included) but we genuinely love this brand – we love the quality, along with the range of products on offer (we ordered one of its letterbox Christmas trees last December, and we’re confident that no tree will ever come close in the cuteness stakes). Yuletide reminiscing aside, this is a gorgeously bright bunch of letterbox flowers suitable for all occasions.
They don’t simply come with instructions but with a comprehensive flower-arranging guide, and not one, but two sachets of food. And there’s another dash of humour, this time with the words: “Shhh, your flowers are sleeping – there’s a guide inside to help you wake them up!” These were the only flowers that came with protective netting around some of the buds – in this case the roses, and it certainly helped them keep their shape. But our all-time favourite thing about this particular bunch? The variety of roses we received are apparently known as Miss Piggy due to their deep pink hue. That might just make them the best roses in the entire world.
Buy now £40.00, Bloomandwild.com
Moonpig letterbox dried pink collection
Best: For longevity
Another fantastic option for those who prioritise simplicity and long-lasting blooms, these gorgeous dried flowers had us at hello. It was the largest bunch we received out of our entire selection, and there was a wonderful mix of flower types, ranging from spikey pink statice and lavender (which smelled absolutely fantastic), to daisy-like white helichrysum and bubble-like craspedia heads. Two weeks on, there’s not a hint of shedding and our pastel-hued bouquet looks as fantastic as it did when it slipped through our door, lending a touch of country chic to a monochrome office space. Our advice? Crank up the countryside-themed glam and find a more fitting receptable than the pint glass we used (sorry, Moonpig). We’re thinking a battered metal milk jug or a supersized mason jar.
Buy now £20.00, Moonpig.com
The verdict: Letterbox flowers
Serenata Flowers’s floral ratatouille is everything a bouquet should be: bright, bountiful, beautiful and fragrant. Its wonderfully elegant wrapping also earned it a bonus point. Calabasas’s bunny tails are perfect for people who want something different from a traditional bouquet, and the wide range of colours makes it easy to match your blooms to your décor (if you’re so inclined). Finally, Bunches’s florist’s choice letterbox flowers are a wonderful option for seasonal blooms, brilliant value and all-round elegance.
For the latest discounts on gifting, try the links below.
Need gift inspiration? Try 15 of the best gins to add to your home bar cart that go down a treat