Don't want to send flowers? Ten beautiful gift alternatives to giving a bouquet - armadillosun

Don't want to send flowers? Ten beautiful gift alternatives to giving a bouquet

Instead of flowers, treat your favourite person with one of our gorgeous handpicked gift ideas

Gifting flowers to someone you love, whether for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, a birthday or an anniversary, dates back to the times of chivalric knights and beautiful maidens (…or maybe I’ve been hibernating with too many old movies!)

The tradition may also have originated in the East where hanakotoba, the Japanese language of flowers, bestows every bloom with an emotion or sentiment. A bouquet then becomes more than flowers and is instead a coded message of love.

Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother’s Day, used white carnations to celebrate her mum, embedding flower-giving into the traditions of this particular occasion.

I love giving and receiving flowers - but I also love tweaking tradition!

Gift something different (which won't wilt within the week!)

There are so many lovely small businesses creating beautiful things that are perfect for special occasions like Mother’s Day. I’ve handpicked ten gorgeous 'no-bouquet' gifts, that still give a flower-filled nod to tradition.

I would be delighted to receive any of these floral bouquet alternatives. (Now someone please send this blog to my children...!)

Dried flower bunches from The Happy Blossoms

Gift a bouquet but put a spin on tradition and make it one that will last and last! The beautiful dried blooms from The Happy Blossoms come in a wonderful array of colours so you can choose the perfect bunch.

Paper flower craft kits from Wild Hive

If your loved one enjoys being creative, encourage them to find a comfy seat and get lost in the beautiful craft of paper flower making. Paper florist Bee Watson has turned her enchanting designs into DIY craft kits at Wild Hive. Each kit would be a special and thoughtful gift and a relaxing and mindful activity... or give the craft kit to yourself and the pretty paper bouquet you create to your loved one!  

Dahlia collections & homeware from Dahlia Beach

 A series of clear glass vases filled with purple, lilac and violet dahlia flowers

Dahlias are having something of a renaissance and, with their showy blooms in a huge range of hues, I understand why! Choose from six collections of dahlia tuber varieties, carefully curated and beautifully packaged by the brilliant, and ever-adventurous, Andie. Or find something they'll love in the new Dahlia Beach embroidery and homeware collection.

Chunky china from Marigold and Lettice

A pure white large china mug decorated liberally with flowers and grasses. Real pink flowers have been put in the mug and two pink macarons lay next to it.

Choose from bowls, mugs, and vases decorated with Bronwen's distinctive stylish blooms. Handmade in her shed, this chunky china tableware is the perfect combination of art and practicality – admire it on the table and then pop it in the dishwasher!

Flower-growing subscription from The Rose Press Garden

 A plae blue flat letterbox-sized cardboard box decorated with watercolour pastel flowers has the words The Rose Press Garden written on it. A purple allium flower and a fern lay next to the box.

I rely on Lizzie from The Rose Press Garden to help me get my garden ready for spring. With her flower-growing subscription, every month you’ll receive an exciting delivery of seeds, bulbs, bare roots, and sometimes even plants! Each box comes with advice and tips for planting so that creating a beautiful garden is a joy (and doesn't become overwhelming). This subscription would make a very special gift.

Pot stems from A Blackbird Sang

A metal silhoette of a long-tailed tit feeding on flower blossom has been put in an indoor pot filled with a plant with some light green leaves.

These decorative pot stems make a very sweet addition to indoor plant pots. I love the craftmanship of all the outdoor accessories from A Blackbird Sang, and think they'd make a wonderful gift that's just a little different. Why not choose the silhouette of the receiver’s favourite flower or bird?

"To Stand and Stare - How to Garden While Doing Next to Nothing" by Anthony O'Brien

The picture shows a book with the words To Stand and Stare on it. The book cover is decorated with a blue and green painted landscape.

Published in February 2023 this book is a treasure trove of beautiful language; moments captured; and thoughts to sit and ponder on.

I also absolutely love 'Why Women Grow' by Alice Vincent.

Why not encourage your loved one to sit down, read and relax – ideally on a garden bean bag! Perhaps add a lambswool throw at this time of year to stay cosy while enjoying the emerging spring flowers.

Seed collection box from Bishy Barnabees Cottage Garden


If you are buying for someone who loves growing their own flowers, one of Melanie's seed boxes would be a lovely and thoughtful gift. My favourites are “Floriography” and "The Timeless Collection".

Personalised gift box from Don't Buy Her Flowers


Of course, if you’d rather avoid flowers completely, then Steph at Don’t Buy Her Flowers has created a hamper of goodies and treats you can carefully personalise for your loved one.

Sewing course from You Stitch

To add just one more idea... I've started a new venture (I've been thinking about it for years and am so excited that You Stitch is live!) and am running personal sewing tutorials from my workroom in Kent. For those who love being creative and designing their homes just the way they want them, a cushion or curtain-making course would be a stand-out gift. 

I hope this list of flower gift alternatives has left you inspired.

Small businesses need our support at the moment so please do have a browse through each website. I’m sure you’ll find something you - and your giftee - will love. 

Let me know what you choose.