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HOMES: FACES OF 2006 | ACCESSORIES

The plot, unhatched

January 05, 2006|Craig Nakano

IT'S an idea hatched just in time for Southern California's loft craze: the Eggling, a tiny indoor planter for design-savvy, yard-deprived green thumbs limited to gardening on windowsills and countertops.

Crack open the top of the sleek 2 1/8 -inch-tall ceramic shell, and you'll find a petite place for herbs or flowers to take root. Seeds and peat mix are already inside the egg; an extra seed packet and a terra cotta tray are included in the box.

"We found that it's a great educational toy for young kids, but we also found that many adults are buying it, either as a gift or for their own kitchens," says Sachie Hirayama, sales operation manager for Felissimo Design Shop, a Manhattan boutique that also sells the Eggling for $12 online at www.felissimo.com/designhouse/theShop.cfm. Under "design selections," click on "home," then go to Page 2. Warning: the piece often sells out.

Giant Robot, which has stores in West Los Angeles and Silver Lake, reports that the Eggling, made by the Japanese garden gift company Seishin, has been selling out just two or three days after each shipment hits the shelves. The stores are awaiting another supply, including a 4 1/2 -inch-tall version of the Eggling that sells for $19.95.

The herb Egglings come with a choice of basil, Italian parsley, mint or thyme seeds. Flower models come with chrysanthemum, lobelia, phlox or petunia seeds. Anyone with a patch of honest-to-goodness soil outdoors has even more options: A few months after seeds have germinated and plants begin to outgrow their shells, Egglings can be placed into the ground. The ceramic is porous enough to break down, and a little extra cracking will allow the roots to expand.

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