With 2008 drawing to a close, I need to get the year’s more shameful confessions off of my chest before I settle on any New Year’s resolutions. One admission that I’ll share with you all: I adore as-seen-on-TV product placements; I absolutely love ‘em. Not the most sordid thing to confess, I know, but after countless nights staying up until the wee hours entranced by Ron Popeil’s food dehydrater and that beguiling blanket with sleeves, the Snuggie, I do feel slightly ashamed.  Just last week, after ranting endlessly about the Sham Wow to my roommate she decided to order me a set. Perhaps this was her way of shutting me up. Whatever the case, I’ll report back on their alleged magical, paper towel-saving cleaning abilities when they arrive.

What’s another incessantly hawked product on late night television that’s caught my attention? Aqua Globes. Marketed towards negligent houseplant owners, those going on vacation, and the incredibly lazy, you stick these decorative stained glass bulbs into the soil of potted plants. And hallelujah! They water your plants automatically for you!

Although Aqua Globes aren’t my aesthetic cup of tea, I find the concept nifty and a good idea for water-wasters in the habit of drowning plants with too much H2O. This got me thinking: Is there a similar product out there that’s easier on the eyes and more eco-friendly? Lo and behold, I stumbled across Wine Bottle Plant Nannies from NapaStyle. A Plant Nanny is nothing more than a hollow terracotta stake that you insert into the mouth of a wine bottle filled with water. Place the stake/bottle into the soil of a thirsty potted plant and let natural absorption take care of the rest. 

It can be a bit tricky for eco-crafty oenophiles to find ways to incorporate spent bottles of Shiraz into an attractive household project without making making their homes look like a frat house or an Italian restaurant. Cork is one thing, but glass bottles can be cumbersome and often easier just to chuck into the recycle bin. The Wine Bottle Plant Nanny is the perfect solution. I’ll drink to that. 

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) reports on design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.