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Local company creates water-efficient garden at Georgia Governors Mansion
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The Georgia Governor’s Mansion’s landscape has a new, water-efficient front garden designed by The Fockele Garden Co.

The effort was organized and sponsored by the Georgia Green Industry Association.

Mark Fockele, president of Gainesville-based The Fockele Garden Co., was selected to provide the design for the garden at the front of the governor’s residence on West Paces Ferry Road in Atlanta. In addition to design plans, The Fockele Garden Co. was one of several companies donating plants and labor for the installation of more than 1,100 plants.

"We created this landscape garden to demonstrate the fact that we could have beautiful, lush gardens even with very limited water," Fockele said. "It is all in the technique: Proper soil preparation, drip irrigation, limited turf, appropriate mulching, grouping plants by water requirements, creating shade, and most important of all, proper plant selection."

An exterior renovation project was recently completed at the Governor’s Mansion, leaving the need for new landscaping. The association had been looking for a project where its members could showcase the value and the benefits of the industry’s management and irrigation practices, and Gov. Sonny Perdue agreed that the mansion was the perfect place to present good landscape management practices to the rest of the state.

"The Governor’s Mansion is now a showplace for water conservation," Perdue said. "The garden will be a lasting testament to the environmental benefits and beauty that a properly designed and efficient landscape can bring to all Georgians."

Fockele’s design includes a wide variety of trees, shrubs, ground covers, annuals and perennials. Many of the plants are native to Georgia. Fockele designed a garden that blends with the scale of the residence while using plants that once established would need very little watering, if any.

The garden was unveiled the same day the Georgia Environmental Protection Division announced the two-year drought had ended in Georgia and the outdoor watering ban would be lifted.

Now, odd-numbered addresses can water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Even-numbered and unnumbered addresses are allowed to water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.