Landscape designer Michael Creath crafts whimsical plantscapes that are easy to care for and awe-inspiring.

Michael Creath owns a landscape design company. But that's about the end of the similarities between his work and that of your typical gardening team. The designer, who graduated from Columbus State Community College in 2006, launched his own business, Creath Landscape Design, about three years ago after working for a handful of local landscapers. Evident as soon as you enter his studio, succulents are the stars of his show. Michael Creath owns a landscape design company. But that's about the end of the similarities between his work and that of your typical gardening team. The designer, who graduated from Columbus State Community College in 2006, launched his own business, , about three years ago after working for a handful of local landscapers. Evident as soon as you enter his studio, succulents are the stars of his show.

"I have a fresh take on the plantscape design industry and a lot of creative ideas that people aren't really doing," Creath says. And it's succulents that give him the creative opportunities he seeks.

Take his interior displays crafted from knotty branches, stumps and bright-green plants: He carves cavities into the wood, filling stumps with gravel and supple, ornamental succulents that quickly take root. Sitting on a table or bookshelf, they appear to be landscapes in miniature. "They're living art," he says.

Today, Creath, along with one employee, has hundreds of clients. His business has grown mostly by word-of-mouth, he says.

Creath attributes the recent increase in succulent popularity to a shift in how we're interacting with plants in general. "People are really liking plants right now," he says. "Biophilia (the concept that humans subconsciously want a connection to the natural world) is sort of a green buzzword, but I like it. Having plants around you is good for you."

Also noteworthy for succulents? They're easy to care for, a plus for those new to the world of gardening. Different varieties require slightly different treatment but, in general, the plants are extremely hardy.

"The more colorful the succulent, the more light it requires," Creath says. "They like light. If you're looking for a succulent to sit on your desk, with no windows, get a green one with less color, like aloe vera."

Succulents hold water in their leaves; while proper watering is important, overwatering can kill them. Most importantly, they need porous, sandy soil with good drainage. "They will die if they sit in water," Creath says. Watering regularity depends on location and time of year, too. "In the winter, water about once a month," he adds. "In the summer, indoors, water them every week or two."