Member Name: SueMagee
Advantages: Flowers sent by post within the UK at a reasonable price with free flowers once you have spent £50.
Disadvantages: They only deliver to the UK.
Personally I don't like cut flowers. I hate to watch them die, but for some people they're a very acceptable present and each Christmas I send three or four boxes of flowers. My elderly neighbour can't run to flowers on a regular basis, but it's very difficult for her to refuse to accept a box if the postman delivers them. My friend entertains her family at Christmas and a large arrangement of flowers looks superb in her conservatory. Finally there are the relatives who always send us a calendar and flowers seem like a suitable response.
In previous years I'd used Flying Flowers, I couldn't for the life of me think of the name, so I typed "Flowers by Post" into Google, thinking that this would give me the answer. It didn't, but it took me instead to www.flowersbypost.com Ė the website of Le Tourneur's Rainbow Flowers. They're based in Central Market in St. Helier, Jersey and they've been sending flowers by post for over thirty years.
Frankly I couldn't be bothered searching any further so I ordered the flowers. I was surprised by how cheap they were. Then I discovered that once my orders totalled £50 I would qualify for a free box of ten rainbow carnations either for myself or for somebody else. I didn't even have to take them then and anything I spent over £50 would go towards my next free box of flowers. It all seemed too good to be true and I have to confess that I was wondering what the catch was.
On Christmas Eve my friend came round. She kept enthusing about the marvellous flowers that I'd sent. You might think this was all hyperbole but it was actually a dozen carnations with twenty freesias and all the usual greenery and gypsophila. This had cost me £17.95 and it's available at the same price two years later.
I'd sent my neighbour ten mixed carnations with greenery. Three weeks later they were still on her window sill and still looking splendid. I paid £8.95 and once again the price is the same this year. Flying Flowers start at £9.99 and there's no offer of free flowers. The most telling comparison with Flying Flowers came from my relatives though. The year before I'd sent a Flying Flowers box and the thank you letter did rather imply that it was necessary to add to what was sent to get a reasonable display. ("Once I'd added some foliage from the garden they looked rather good") There was no such comment about the box from Flowers by Post.
Three people were all delighted with their flowers. They were cheaper than I would have paid elsewhere and I had a free box of flowers waiting for me. You couldn't really expect more than that could you? Well, there was something more. I was sent a calendar as a thank-you for placing the order. It wasn't just a cheap advertising calendar either. It was a Jersey calendar of the type that's available to buy in W H Smith. I got another one when I sent my order last year.
Iíll soon be ordering the flowers to be sent this Christmas. All orders are dispatched by Royal Mail on Monday to Thursday of each week and they generally arrive one or, at the most, two days after they are sent.
The site used to be a little slow to load particularly when I had an antiquated dial-up connection but thereís been a revamp and Iíve now got broadband. Ordering is speedy and I find it easy to use. Once you login you'll have the benefit of your history of previous orders which saves a lot of typing of addresses. My free box of flowers was sent to my neighbour last Christmas and it won't be long before I qualify for another. I love this idea. The proprietor, Norman Ridley, makes it clear that he values his customers and he likes to show it. If you've any complaints you're encouraged to ring (01534 736462) and ask to speak to him.
I emailed Norman because I wanted to be certain about the security on the site. The response was prompt and appreciated my concerns. Details about security are now shown on the site. All the usual credit cards are taken, including Solo.
I rang their freephone number to ask about the different selections of flowers. The response was friendly and efficient. The last time I rang Flying Flowers I was far from impressed by their rather off-hand attitude.
The range of flowers available is limited almost exclusively to carnations and freesias with supporting foliage and the prices range from £8.95 for the basic box of ten carnations up to £19.95 for the bumper gift box. This contains ten roses, ten freesias and ten carnations together with fern and gypsophila. You can add into any order boxes of Belgian chocolates or Jersey fudge although the prices of these arenít immediately obvious on the site. All the flower boxes contain sachets of crystals which help to prolong vase life. If these are the type of flowers that you like to send (UK deliveries only) then I doubt that you could do better than visit www.flowersbypost.com
If only all my senior moments turned out this way. Last night we had a power cut whilst I was writing this. Despite the fact that everything had gone black, I continued typingÖ
Le Tourneur's Rainbow Flowers: 97 Central Market, St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Orders from the UK: Freephone 0800 7351065
Summary: Good value, reliable deliveries of flowers within the UK.