I’m a big fan of the Woolly Pocket Garden Company — L.A.-based purveyor of breathable, modular, and small-space friendly planters that are made in the U.S. from recycled plastic bottles — and I try to feature new releases from the company whenever I can (and include ‘em in gift guides and seasonal product roundups, of course).
Now, Miguel and Rodney Nelson's fuzzy and felt-like indoor-outdoor planters for vertical gardening are going hard. Real hard. In early October, Woolly Pockets will release a hard plastic, self-watering version of Wally, the company’s signature Living Wall Planter that’s essentially a hanging fabric “nest” for flora.
This may seem surprising for a company that’s initial claim to fame is its versatile planting systems that are, well, a bit on the woolly side. However, as Miguel Nelson explains to the L.A. Times, the Living Wall Planter makeover sprung from customer feedback: “As strange as it may sound, many of our garden center customers actually wished Wally looked more like a planter. That was a tough one for us to swallow, but we finally realized that in order to truly inspire the world to have more fun with plants, we needed to offer styles that suited more of the world.”
The "totally reimagined" Living Wall Planters debuted last month at Chicago’s Independent Garden Center Show. TreeHugger garden guru Ramon Gonzalez was on the scene to check them out, noting that he himself owns a couple of the original soft-sided Wally planters, but has never used them for their intended purpose because they are “too nice” for outdoor use and that he’s scared to use them indoors out of fear of making a mess.
As mentioned, the new Living Wall Planters include a self-watering reservoir and are designed to be easier to hang and maintain than the original. They’re made from BPA-free plastic and available in a range of colors including white, black, brown, gray, green, orange, and yellow (the darker-colored planters are made from 100 percent recycled plastic while the lighter-colored ones are made from 50 percent recycled plastic). Like its fore-Wally (which isn’t going anywhere, by the way), the new planter will also be made domestically.
The sticker price? $26.99 — a bit cheaper than the original Living Wall Planters (sans the "Mini Wally").
Any users of the original Living Wall Planters care to chime in on the new development? Did you have issues — particularly watering-related — with the soft-sided Wally models? And if you've never checked out the Woolly Pocket website before and are curious about vertical and/or modular container gardening, it's certainly worth a look with a robust how-to section, video selection, and "inspiration gallery;" a webstore; and a special microsite dedicated to educational gardening in the classroom called the Woolly Garden School.