An innovative display garden won multiple awards at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show. Landscape design students Eric Arneson and Nahal Sohbati of the Academy of Art used the concept of sublimation (water going straight from solid to gas) as a metaphor for the California drought, i.e. “missing water.” Clever design ideas include weatherproof walls of wire cubes (gabions); rounded stones stacked below smaller ones hanging like bubbles from wire; a bench made of vertical 4x4s repeating the squares in the design; succulents planted vertically still in their nursery pots; and succulents combined with drought-tolerant ornamental grasses for appealing texture.


Debra Lee Baldwin, Garden Photojournalist, Author and Succulent Expert

Debra Lee Baldwin, Garden Photojournalist, Author and Succulent Expert

Connect with



You may also like

2 Response Comments

  • Meredith CallahanJune 3, 2015 at 10:44 am

    I have 8-quart size succulents that I would like to plant in a bird bath with small succulents around the outside. The bird bath isn’t very deep yet I see many pictures of large plants in bird baths…How do I accomplish this? Any help will be appreciated.

    • DebraJune 12, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      Hi, Meredith, shallow containers dry out quickly, especially during the summer months. Stack the root balls on top of each other to create a mounded arrangement, then cover with gravel. Keep it out of full sun and water regularly, and it should be OK!


Leave A Comment

Please enter your name. Please enter an valid email address. Please enter message.