I've been sent a couple of hanging baskets to try out and review.
Both baskets are made of a rigid, black plastic; the one on the right is called an 'Easyfill Original' hanging basket, the other, on the left, an 'Easyfill Pro'.
Both baskets allow you to pot up plants around the side as well as on the top giving you that 'flower ball' look.
*** I'd like to add that if I'd received these baskets earlier in the year I would have had a selection of traditional summer basket plants to demonstrate with and the 'flowy' effect of the layers of plants would have been more evident. As it's now late summer I'm going to do an experiment to see how Auriculas & strawberries will look ***
This is the 'Easyfill Pro'
It's about 8" deep & 15" wide. It doesn't require moss or lining and has a series of drainage holes at different levels, plus a a small well at the bottom.
On this model (the 'Pro'), there are 'clips' that you simply push back in order to make the sides of the basket bend back.
Add a layer of compost up to the side holes, simply lay your plants on their sides around the basket (stems dangling out of the holes) and push the panels back together again. Add another layer of soil and pop in your plants on the top as per.
This is my traditional top filling hanging basket from earlier in the year, planted up with Auriculas. In my 'experiment', it'll be fun to see if these gorgeous plants create that flowerball effect next spring in the 'Easyfill Pro'. (stay tuned for that).
Next up...the 'Easyfill Original'.
I found it easier to remove the chains on both baskets before filling. Just feed the little metal rods through the holes, fill the basket, then feed the rods back through again...saves having to detangle any plants that get caught in the chain as you go to hang it up.
The dimensions are the same as the 'Pro' version but this time there are 'gated' pop-out sides. Just push the little gates from the outside inwards and they easily pop out. Position your plants, on their sides as before and then click the gates back into position.
For this basket I have used some of my strawberries and their runners from the strawberry bed. Hopefully next year I will have a cascading supply of sweet, juicy fruits.
So despite not having a traditional supply of summer hanging basket plants I hope this post might inspire you to try something a bit different.
As for the baskets... maybe not as pretty looking as traditional, weaved wooden versions when first planted up, but hopefully once the plants start to fluff up, that plastic will be covered by lush foliage and floral delights.
Being plastic the moisture should be retained in the soil a lot longer and not dry out as quickly.
I'm sure that at some stage the plastic clips and pop-out sections will become brittle and deteriorate and the colour may fade to grey but that also happens with wooden versions. I replace mine quite often as the wood starts to break and look tatty and sometimes they develop an ugly green hue. That said, those moveable plastic parts are really only going to be used once, maybe twice a year, as we pot up our plants and then remove at the end of the year, so they should be quite durable.
Which do I prefer, the 'Easyfill Original' or the 'Pro' version?
Well I thought the soil and water was going to fall out of the gated 'Easyfill Original' version (top right) when it was watered but it didn't. Both were easy to use, there was no fiddling or faffing so when it come to ease of use I give them both 10/10.
Asthetically I prefer the gated 'Easyfill Original'. It looks a little less 'heavy' when it's just been potted up but don't forget that plastic will all be covered up eventually.
You can get the baskets at the following locations... (Prices do vary so I encourage you to have a good look through the options available)
For further information go to...