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These days in L.A., you can hardly swing a trowel without hitting a vertical garden. From a Culver City party venue to a Laurel Canyon grade school, the trend is reaching a critical mass.

For the past few years, we?ve admired how vertical gardens are easily created by potting flowers or veggies inside fabric pouches hung on walls or fences. However, these pockets look a bit messy until they?re covered with greenery--and water runoff can leave hard-water trails down a wall.

But now pioneering L.A.-based vertical gardening company Woolly Pocket has made a better mousetrap: the new Living Wall Planter ($27). These 18-inch-by-13-inch lightweight plastic vessels have an attractive fluted design and come in seven colors to blend in or accent most walls, indoor and out. Besides its crisp appearance, the Living Wall Planter?s exciting innovation is that it consists of two easily installable parts--a self-watering tank and a planter that attaches to it. You fill the tank once a week, then the plant will water itself as needed--so no more messy runoff. 

We?ve been scrolling through a list of suggested plants, imagining a virtual rainbow on our walls from azaleas to zantedschia. Hey, it beats bending over in the dirt.

Anawalt Lumber, 3730 Cross Creek Rd., Malibu; 310-456-2772 or woollypocket.com

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