Thanks to Covid-19, many of us haven’t seen our families, friends and loved ones for months.
Letterbox flowers are the perfect way to let them know you miss them – as they fit through the letterbox, it’s contactless delivery that protects everybody.
To find the blooms that are guaranteed to put a smile on your favourite person’s face during this tough time, we tried and tested a range of letterbox flowers that you can order online.
We noted how fresh the flowers looked on arrival, how well the packaging protected fragile petals and how many stems we got for our money.
We looked for extra touches like gift cards, care guides and flower food, before arranging them in a vase, comparing them to the marketing photo and monitoring how long they lasted
Value for money has also been taken into consideration and you’ll find something for all budgets below. Many of the brands listed here also offer subscriptions.
We might not be able to go on holiday or hit the pub, but we can fill our homes with flowers.
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 and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
The best letterbox flowers to buy in 2021:
Overall winner: M&S Seasonal flower letterbox gift: £22, Marks and Spencer
Best selection: Bloom and Wild the tilly bouquet: £40, Bloom and Wild
Best for delivery options: Serenata Flowers scented moonlight: £29.99, Serenata
Best for ethical credentials: Arena Flowers letterbox mixed alstroemeria: £15.99, Arena Flowers
Best of the rest: Flying Flowers joyous pinks letterbox: £21.99, Flying Flowers
Bloom and Wild the Tilly bouquet
Chances are, you’ll already have tried Bloom & Wild’s popular letterbox flowers, and new this season is the Tilly, a marvellous selection of early summer gems, including pink peonies, yellow freesia, ombre roses, sweet william and fun craspedia pom-poms. Our flowers arrived looking remarkably healthy in a vintage-esque brown box, with the most delicate buds wrapped in soft netting. This brand scored brownie points for including two packets of flower food – one for the first day and another for a freshen up three days later.
Most of our 26 stems were just starting to unfurl, offering the ideal compromise between instant impact and longevity. We loved the arranging guide which, unlike other brands we tried, is specific to the bouquet you receive. Ours smelled amazing throughout the two weeks it bloomed for, with the peonies blossoming after a couple of days in the vase. It’s on the pricier side at £40 but delivery is free, there are lots of flowers and in this case, you really do get what you pay for – the flowers we received looked even better than the picture.
Serenata Flowers scented moonlight
Online florist Serenata Flowers is one of our go-tos thanks to its marriage of quality and affordability. This scented bouquet smells like a summer garden and oozes elegance with its white and green simplicity. Freesias provide the fragrance, backed up by roses, lisianthus, stocks and a peppering of foliage which made them easy to arrange. The 20 stems come wrapped in clear cellophane to keep them safe in the post. Our flowers arrived partly in bud, ready to bloom in the vase, with care tips and flower food included in the jolly turquoise box. We liked the cheery "happiness delivered" message on the inside lid. They lasted well for a rose-led bunch, giving us a solid seven days of joy before starting to look sorry for themselves. Delivery is free and if you want a regular delivery, note that Serenata Flowers has recently launched a flower subscription service with prices catering for all budgets.
Arena Flowers letterbox mixed alstroemeria
Conscious shoppers will appreciate the ethics of this florist, which plants one tree in a developing country for every bouquet sold. Its letterbox range has been carefully selected on account of how hardy the stems are, so there’s no need to worry about them wilting on route. We tried the mixed alstroemeria bunch in red, yellow, orange, pink and white and loved the colourful flowery box they came in. We only got 13 stems for our buck, but each was sprouting lots of buds and easily filled our vase. They livened up once placed in water and, a few days later, opened up in an explosion of colour that has lasted over two weeks and counting. We like that you can choose from a number of pretty gift cards for free. The usual £4 delivery fee has been waived during the lockdown, making this an excellent value bunch considering how long they last.
Appleyard London frangipani
This summery bunch arrived in a stylish monochrome box courtesy of one of our favourite luxury London florists, Appleyard. The 15 stems inside were wrapped in Kraft paper and all in good nick, thanks partly to the mini water-filled tubes that had been plugged onto the end of the lilac roses to keep them hydrated (tip: reuse these at Christmas to keep ivy garlands fresh). We liked the variety of species – expect to find purple lisianthus, white snapdragons and frilly pink carnations too, all jazzed up by some orange berries and eryngium. There’s flower food included, along with some handy care tips, which helped our flowers last just over a week. You get a plain gift card for free but can choose an occasion-specific one for a small extra cost at the checkout. The biggest downside to this brand is that delivery is not included and costs an additional £5.99 – the quality is high but at nearly £36, this bouquet feels overpriced for its size.
Stems by Tineke roses and foliages by letterbox
The award-winning florists behind this stylish brand lovingly compile every box of letterbox blooms at their Derbyshire studio. We tried the classic roses and were impressed with how well they fared in transit. Our 10 stems arrived undamaged, thanks to soft netting protecting each bud and careful packaging that separated the roses from the foliage to stop them getting tangled up. These flowers arrived in a brown box with a personal message, flower food, twine and an illustrated care guide included inside. We appreciated the link to a DIY video tutorial to help you arrange them. The foliage is generous and thoughtfully considered to complement the roses, the colour of which is a surprise unless you request one. We received stunning antique blush roses, which looked glorious for an impressive 10 days (the longest we’ve ever seen roses last). Delivery is free and the subscription service starts at just £22.
Flying Flowers joyous pinks letterbox
We were happily surprised by the quality of this bargain bunch of from Flying Flowers (now owned by Interflora). They arrived in an unassuming brown box, but were beautifully laid out inside, with a simple care guide and a packet of flower food on top. The flowers were wrapped in tissue paper with a pretty bow, leaving the bright pink buds peeking out at either end for that instant pick-me-up upon opening. These blooms may not be unusual – 12 stems of carnations, three of alstromeria and a few sprigs of gypsophila – but if pink’s your colour, you’ll be in raptures. Some flowers had started to unfurl, so it looked pretty from the off, but many were still in bud for extra freshness and longevity (ours are still looking lively after a fortnight). These flowers are undoubtedly great value and standard delivery is free. The three-month subscription is a steal at £60 too.
FlowerBe original botanical letterbox posy
If your budget won’t stretch as far as a full-size bouquet, or you prefer the idea of a bedside posy, look no further than FlowerBe’s adorable miniature offerings. We tried the signature botanical box which comes in a choice of colourful or natural and arrives in a rustic brown box that will fit through small letterboxes. Our seasonal flowers looked sleepy on arrival but have fared well since being put in a glass jar of water and we were impressed by the variety of species in our bunch. We like the inclusion of foliage (we received eucalyptus, our favourite) but wish the stems were just a bit longer to allow for snipping the ends and keeping them fresh. Some flower food and an arranging guide would have been appreciated too. We love the little touches that make this an ideal “picked from my garden” gift, from the handwritten note to the options of gift wrapping for an extra £2 or adding a cute illustrated sleeve for an extra £3. You can sign up to a rolling weekly subscription or give three, six and 12-month subscriptions as gifts for you or your loved ones.
M&S Seasonal flower letterbox gift
Having been disappointed by Waitrose’s offering, our expectations for supermarket letterbox flowers were low. Happily, this summery bunch with blue iris, white santini chrysanthemums and yellow alstroemeria exceeded them. Our blooms arrived in an attractive box including flower food and a printed sheet of care tips. We received 14 stems as promised, with the flowers mostly in bud for maximum longevity. They looked a touch tired upon arrival, but quickly perked up when placed in water and lasted almost a fortnight (all hail alstros). Overall, this bunch packs a powerful punch of colour for an affordable price, though some may find it garish. The option to add a couple of bags of Percy Pigs at the checkout for an extra £3 is surely a no brainer, especially given that delivery is free. Note too that M&S runs a flower subscription service for just £20 a bouquet, including delivery.
Bunches Molly Mae
The brown box these cherry spray roses, pink snapdragons and lisianthus arrive in is simple but eco-friendly and the blooms are carefully wrapped in a breathable compostable paper to keep them safe. Most of our ethically sourced flowers from this family-run brand were still in bud to extend their lifespan and there were enough stems (16, each with lots of flowers) to fill two slim vases. The odd head had broken off or drooped in transit, but they quickly revived in water. Bunches cleverly chooses blooms that are durable and long-lasting, meaning our displays only began showing signs of wilting 10 days after they landed on our doormat. Happily, this brand’s eight-strong letterbox range is entirely plastic-free. Delivery is free, too.
Vela Flowers letterbox flowers
This small York-based florist creates different bouquets every week and experiments with unusual combinations of seasonal blooms. We’re fans of Vela’s eco ethos; all flowers are sourced directly from growers on the day they’re sent out and are hand-packed to order to minimise waste. Our bunch arrived in a bright green box with every stem in tip-top condition. We admired the variety of heights and textures, while the tips and tricks printed on the inside lid helped us to create a “wild” style display. The roses in our box smelled divine and lasted for nearly a fortnight, which impressed us for such a famously transient species. We appreciated the generous inclusion of enough flower food for two uses and liked that it came in a fully compostable sachet (Vela is now plastic-free). The downside to this brand is that you don’t get a say in what flowers you receive but we doubt you’ll be disappointed, and you can ask to exclude lilies if you have pets. Vela offers excellent value subscriptions at £20 per delivery, as well as one-offs, and delivery is free.
Haute Florist wild flowers letterbox flowers
Fans of the wildflower vibe will appreciate the fresh-from-the-meadow blooms that ostensibly luxe Haute Florist has selected for this bouquet. The sophisticated black box our flowers arrived in felt at odds with the cottagey contents, but we appreciated the included flower food and clear care instructions. The key stems – memory lane roses, lilac lisianthus and spiky eryngium – all looked fresh despite travelling but the filler foliage looked a bit sad on arrival and never fully recovered. We replaced them with some greenery from the garden to liven up our display, which then looked lovely for over a week before wilting. Overall, we enjoyed this combination of blue and purple flowers, but found it a tad overpriced when some stems struggled in transit. The good news is that delivery is free.
Moonpig the letterbox mixed peonies
Peonies are one of the most popular flowers and they are at their best right now. This cream, pink and peach bunch arrives in a bright pink box that’s impossible to miss on your doormat. We didn’t enjoy a wow moment on arrival as the 10 stems were all in bud, but they soon began to unfurl once in a vase. Three days later, they were in full bloom and filling our living room with scent. Don’t be deceived by first impressions – these peonies end up so huge, we couldn’t believe they’d once fitted through the letterbox. There’s a helpful care guide in the box but the time-poor will enjoy the ease of simply popping a single species into a vase without the faff of arranging. Ours lasted a full week before drooping, which is decent for peonies. The extra £3.99 delivery cost ramps the price up but it’s hard to imagine anybody not enjoying these flowers, if your budget allows. Once peonies go out of season in July, try this sunset of spray carnations for a more affordable £20.
shida preserved flowers mado
Flowers are a timelessly great gift, but the glaring downside is that they die. This London-based florist offers preserved flowers – real flowers that have had their sap replaced with natural glycerine and dyes to keep them soft and colourful for up to a year. They arrive neatly wrapped in paper in a letterbox-friendly recyclable box. There are a few bunches to choose from, some involving colour, but our pick is this array of foliage that will add a burst of fresh greenery to any interior. Eucalyptus is an all-time favourite of ours and we love the fluffy feather grass that softens up the texture. It might seem like an expensive buy at just over £50, but it’s a steal when you consider how long it lasts. Shida also sells individual stems of protea, roses and gorgeous hydrangeas, along with a lovely range of Japanese-inspired vases.
The verdict: Letterbox flowers
Bloom & Wild is the letterbox flowers market leader for good reason – we’ve yet to be disappointed by a bunch of its top-quality blooms and were more impressed than ever with the plentiful, peony-laden Tilly arrangement. We’ve never seen roses last as long as those we received from Stems by Tineke. While for smaller budgets, Flying Flowers offers fantastic value for hardy blooms with longevity.
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