Design an Interesting Succulent Garden

How to set out and create an interesting succulent garden to add a unique feature to your outdoor space.


I am slowly but surely transforming my garden into a low-maintenance and water-wise space where I won't have to worry about ongoing care and attention. Water restrictions are already looming on the horizon and that means that unless you have a storage tank for all your watering needs, the garden will  be sorely affected.





We have already seen several years of tight restrictions, and while my garden was already in the process of being transformed into a water-wise area with the addition of artificial lawn, planting up the beds with succulents, cactus and indigenous plants was the next step in the process.

I recently posted about a nursery that I stumbled upon that has a huge variety of succulents in all their colours and sizes, and I spent a bit of buying a few trays of seedlings (if they are called that). They are tips and cuttings of succulents that have already rooted and are ready to be popped into the soil.

There is a large, circular planter in the garden and I had an idea in mind to plant this up with a selection of the cuttings, as well as some of the larger plants that I bought (@ R30 each!). This project gave me an idea to share with you how I have previously planted up succulent gardens to make an interesting feature.


Choose a large or interesting planter

Select a planter or container for a succulent garden that will add to the design. In this case, I have a large clay planter that would be ideal for arranging a variety of large and small succulents. You don't even have to use a planter, like I did with my tree stump. There are so many ideas out there on the web for using watering cans, antique tea cups and saucers, and so much more. Think about the type of succulent garden you want and then look around for items that you can put to good use. 





Incorporate rocks, pebbles and sand

A large rock (or two) can act as the centrepiece for your succulent garden. If you are lucky enough to have - or to find - Pelindaba rocks, even better. These rocks have a timeworn finish that lets them stand out in any feature. I only needed a single rock to give some height to the feature, and especially since some of the succulents that I included reach a fair height. 

Around the centre rock I placed some ordinary garden pebbles. These come packed in bags at most garden centres and you can choose from muted natural hues or white pebbles. I use both to build up around the centre plants, with the white ones placed on top.

Once all my succulents were planted, I added some white pool filter sand over the soil. You can buy this as your nearest Builders store or pool shop, and it just gives a nice finish to the succulent garden and lets the plants stand out.

Do make sure to place your succulent garden in a sunny spot. If these plants don't get enough sun they tend to grow straggly. So aim for at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. These plants only need an occasional watering or a regular light spray to keep them happy. Great news when water restrictions kick in and you have to water your garden with a watering can!



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