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!”
How we tested
Wondering about the testing process? All we can say is that we’re glad we don’t suffer from allergies, because it involved a whole lot of sniffing, along with forensic examination of leaves, petals and blooms to evaluate which flowers stayed freshest for longer, which ones smelled the best and which ones provided the best value for money in terms of the most buds for your bucks.
The best letterbox flowers for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Serenata Flowers floral ratatouille: £29.99, Serenataflowers.com
- 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 and 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 seasonal blooms – Arena Flowers nature’s finest: £27.99, Arenaflowers.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.
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.
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.
Waitrose rose and 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The verdict: Letterbox flowers
Serenata Flowers’ floral ratatouille is everything a bouquet should be: bright, bountiful, beautiful and fragrant. Its wonderfully elegant wrapping also earned it a bonus point. Alternatively, Bunches’s florist’s choice letterbox flowers are a wonderful option for seasonal blooms – brilliant value and all-round elegance.
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