RoseBReview: Mr Fothergill’s Flowering Bulb Tray

I have tried several Mr. Fothergill’s products and been looking forward to trying out the new Flowering Bulb Tray.

My box with Mr Fothergill's Flowering Bulb Tray arrives!

My box with Mr Fothergill’s Flowering Bulb Tray arrives!

From the name Flowering Bulb Tray I anticipated receiving a bag of bulbs in a plastic tray. I wasn’t expecting nicely laid out bulbs in a biodegradable cardboard tray, all ready to plant, that arrived at our house.

Mr Fothergill's Flowering Bulb Tray presentation

Mr Fothergill’s Flowering Bulb Tray presentation

The tray was wrapped in clear plastic with a cheery and encouraging cover.

The instructions and supporting pictures were clear and straightforward. Whilst it did not state the best time for planting, I presume they will only be available in the shops at the right times of the year.

As both my parents are gardeners I have planted countless bulbs. However, a pre-laid out tray appealed to me because I don’t normally place bulbs according colour, size and shape to achieve a desired ‘look’. By having the bulbs already spaced in the carton and placed in a pattern, I think will ensure that the display grows successfully and look as cheerful as the cover promises.

Inside the box showing the bulb layout

Inside the box showing the bulb layout

My pack had 45 bulbs – 10 yellow daffodils, 24 grape hyacinth, 11 light blue Triteleia.

I also think the cardboard tray is a clever idea because it is the perfect size and shape for an average garden pot. If I didn’t have a garden or space in a garden to put bulbs, I imagine it would be easy to find a pot the right size.

Mr Fothergill's Flowering Bulb Tray can also fit in a pot

Mr Fothergill’s Flowering Bulb Tray can also fit in a pot

As directed by the instructions, I chose to plant the tray in a sunny spot in our garden. As some of the bulbs had moved in transit and unpacking, the picture on the packaging was clear and helpful, ensuring I planted them the right way up.

The whole process was really quick and painless. In fact all I really had to do was dig a hole the right depth, place the tray in the hole and cover it with dirt! If I didn’t enjoy touching soil, I wouldn’t even have to get my hands dirty.

I chose a sunny spot in the garden for my bulb tray and dug the 7cm deep hole

I chose a sunny spot in the garden for my bulb tray and dug the 7cm deep hole

Burying the tray - you don't even need to get your hands dirty!

Burying the tray – you don’t even need to get your hands dirty!

After vigorously watering and probably drowning the poor things, I gave the soil a hopeful pat and have left them to do their thing.

It is really dry where I live so all I have to do is remember to water them.

I have to remember to water them

I have to remember to water them

When they have finished flowering I am looking forward to uncovering the bulbs, seeing if the tray has broken down and if the roots have made their way through the holes in the bottom of tray.

I think that the Flowering Bulb Tray is a clever idea. It is the perfect gift for all ages, for experienced and inexperienced gardeners. I also think it would be an encouraging project for someone who has never tried growing bulbs before or had no success. Even for the worst ‘brown thumb’ this project is practically fool proof.

I will keep you posted on the success of my Flowering Bulb Tray. Suffice to say, having just planted it, I am feeling rather optimistic!

 I'm looking forward to seeing the first shoots

I’m looking forward to seeing the first shoots

[Note: Mr Fothergill’s supplied the Flowering Bulb Tray for review. To find your nearest stockist, please email ]

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About RoseB

RoseB is 13 years old and has grown up gardening in her parents' garden, her grandparents' gardens and her great grandmother's garden. In fact it has been hard for her to avoid learning about gardening! Whilst she loves watching her mother chase escaped chooks out of the garden, throwing balls of worm poo and moving mature trees from one spot to another in the garden simply because they were in the wrong position, she is unsure whether she will pursue a career in gardening. However, having been named after a plant, destiny may have other ideas. RoseB lives and learns on the outskirts of the ACT and loves the blossoms of spring, the colours of autumn, the crunch of frost covered grass in winter and the shade of big old trees in summer.

12 thoughts on “Review: Mr Fothergill’s Flowering Bulb Tray

  1. I loved your review Rose. So well thought out, practical and helpful, with terrific photos. And I really like the way you said you gave them “a hopeful pat”. Gardeners understand this funny behaviour – it makes us smile because I’m sure we all do this (when no-one is looking).

    • Hi Helen,

      Thanks for your comment. Despite my previous suspicions that I had drowned the bulbs, I am pleased to report that mum and I discovered a numbers of stems this afternoon.

      It has been really hot and dry here and I have been concerned that the bulbs might dry out, but mum and I think the cardboard tray absorbed enough water to keep them moist – a clever a design aspect!

      I’m actually feeling rather smug because none of mum’s bulbs have come up yet. I think that it must have been the “hopeful pat”!

      … when our neighbours are next out mum is going to try singing to hers.

  2. Well – lots of bulbs! – a good decision to put them in the ground rather than in a pot, maybe once they’ve finished flowering, dig some topping/ mix around to improve the soil a bit and help them along ? Look forward to seeing them!

  3. Hi Rose
    What an interesting and clear review: practical and inspiring! I’ve never bought bulbs this way, but you make it obvious how useful this kind of package is as an introduction for gardeners who haven’t grown many bulbs – what a great idea!

    I’ll also be interested to see how the cardboard trays stack up long-term – I assume you’d have to lift the bulbs later? I very much look forward to reading your follow-up report, Rose!

  4. Thank you Anne.

    Mum and I discussed whether to plant them in a pot or the ground but decided a ‘ground’ test seemed more honest.

    Just wondering what “topping/mix” you would recommend? Do you mean fertiliser or compost or something else?

  5. Great article, Rose. And I loved that all of the points were illustrated with a photograph. I haven’t seen these trays before but I think they would make a great gift, especially for a novice gardener.

    • Thank you Helen and Linda.

      I was also surprised by the idea of a bio degradable cardboard tray, but as I said, thought it was very clever. Even if the tray breaks down before I lift the bulbs I think I will have a better idea of how to arrange them to get a professional looking display. All the other bulbs are scattered throughout the garden but mum and I thought a little pocket of ‘order’ wouldn’t be a bad thing.

      I am also pleased to report that we had 3mm of rain over night and more predicted today. I was given a rain gauge for Christmas so have become the families meteorologist. Hopefully even this little bit of rain will help them grow.

      I think I need to learn more about the effect nitrogen in rain has on plants.

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