/ Parenting, Shopping

Mother’s Day: flowers should never fail


As far as my mother is concerned, flowers always make a great gift. They’re not something that she would buy for herself and she loves having them in the house. But are they a failsafe gift?

Do you remember Mothering Sunday when you were a child and you had no money to buy a gift? I do. I would wake my lazy little brother, we’d slip into the garden and take a selection of the best looking daffodils, pop them in a little vase and carry them upstairs with a cup of tea to my mum. And she loved it.

But these days I don’t hack away at the lovely daffs in the garden, much to my mother’s appreciation. In fact, it seems all a bit more complicated. Last year I decided to up my game, by ordering a bouquet from a local florist. Little did I know that my decision to trump the usual collection of M&S flowers would be such a complete fail.

Flower fails

So, last year my order of a bouquet of tulips, roses and gerberas failed to arrive on Mother’s Day…

After a phone call to the florist, it turned out that while my order had been placed and my money had been taken, they hadn’t recorded the order at all. Hence the ‘no show’.

Since this fiasco I’m much more cautious about flower deliveries. And especially so since learning that flower delivery failures are apparently not that uncommon.

In fact our recent survey of over 2,000 members of the public found that one in five had experienced problems with ordering flowers online in the past year. And more than half who had this problem were left feeling dissatisfied when their flowers lasted less than five days.

Now, I did manage to get some flowers delivered to my mum by the same florist, and they were very pretty, but this was a few days later as Mother’s Day had cleaned them out of flowers. I wasn’t left overly impressed, but I know that mistakes can happen.

I’ve since learned that I was in fact entitled to a refund for the flowers. I’d paid for a timed delivery which the florist didn’t deliver within, and this counts as a breach of contract. And it turns out that poor quality flowers, not the right flowers and not enough flowers are a breach of contract under the Consumer Rights Act too.

Disappointed by your delivery?

I hope you’ve not found yourself with flower delivery disappointment this Mother’s Day. However, if your flowers weren’t up to the standard you expected then ensure you take this up with the retailer.

By talking to the florist I managed to get to the bottom of the non-delivery and get some nice flowers delivered to my mum, but really I should have had a refund too… if only I’d known.

So this year I’ve picked up the flowers myself, having selected them earlier in the week… where I kept a beady eye on the recording of the order 🙂

Have you experienced flower ordering fails like mine?


I used to send flowers by Interflora or Teleflorist but they were always really bad value for money.

Lauren, next time you want to send flowers, try Orchids by Post. I have been using them for years and have never had a bad experience with them. Sometimes they have even been upgraded at no extra charge. They always arrive on time delivered by Royal Mail I think. The flowers can last up to a couple of months if they are looked after.

I am sure you won’t be disappointed.


Thanks for the tip Alfa, I’ll bear that in mind for next time. My mum loves orchids, but usually they’re really expensive 🙁


@ldeitz, Orchids are really not expensive – £6.99 upwards (why not £7?). A decent bunch of flowers costs that and more. A £7 orchid will last a couple of months, a bunch of flowers a week (maybe). Orchid – flower pleasure per day 11.7p, bunch of flowers £1. Which is best?


One of the reasons I like orchids is the length of time the ones I have received as gifts have stayed in flower. Unfortunately, those I have bought myself have not done as well, irrespective of price.


This Conversation has also arrived a bit late to give tips on how to avoid flower delivery problems for Mother’s Day!

If you will be seeing your mother on the day, it’s probably best to buy your flowers in advance and have them at your own home first so that you can make sure they’re alright, trim them, arrange them and feed them, allow them to open nicely, and then take them to your mother or present them when she comes.

If you’ve got your own garden with flowers in bloom it’s also pleasing to include a few garden flowers in the arrangement and perhaps some attractive foliage [unless you prefer the full formal bouquet package with all the trimmings].

I have never had any problems with floral deliveries from Waitrose or M&S but as with all mail or on-line orders it does largely depend on the chosen carrier how they arrive – both do pack them well but the outer packaging can show evidence of rough handling. The supposed advantage of using a local florist is that they should only accept orders they can fulfill in time and should take greater care of the flowers while transporting and delivering them. The disappointing aspect of having flowers delivered by a third party is the poorly-presented greetings card or notelet that either looks like it was banged out on a machine with no thought given to layout and lettering [it was], or was filled in by a child [it might have been].

For a week, every vase and vessel in our house is full of flowers and then no more come for months.


Hello John, it’s good to hear that you’ve not had any problems with a flower order, and that’s really why I decided to lead with what you can do if you’ve been left disappointed, rather than how to avoid disappointment. I’ve placed flower orders since last year’s ordeal and they’ve been fine, but it’s good to know what I can do if something does go wrong.

Picking and arranging flowers yourself is a good tip, and it sounds like fun too – I’ll have to give that a go 🙂


Daffodils from the garden this year, and they were fresh and arrived on time. I rarely buy cut flowers; they are expensive, colours can be artificial (taken up from coloured water) and they don’t last long. Favourite cut flowers otherwise are chrysanthemum blooms in the autumn (a bit late for Mothers Day).

I’m with alfa. Orchids are a great gift; they are not expensive, last ages and with a bit of care will survive to flower again. Other flowering plants are good value – cyclamen, azalea for example.


It seems that Moonpig have made a pig’s ear of it this year with many customers complaining that their flowers, gifts and cards did not arrive on time or that they were mishandled in transport and delivery.


Thanks for sharing John. More info on that:

Moonpig has apologised after dozens of customers complained about deliveries of cards and flowers for Mother’s Day.

The greeting card company’s Twitter and Facebook feeds were inundated with complaints from people who said gifts had either not arrived or had turned up damage