Boulders, Water, Plants at North Atlanta Home.

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The street frontage and driveway were the perfect setting to develop the look of stone outcrops as well as preserve an existing boulder wall. They also served to stabilize the slopes and develop planting pockets.

Our client has owned and loved her home in beautiful, North Atlanta for 40 years. She recently renovated the interior of her home in an ultra-modern style and then asked us to follow suit with the garden that she had dreamed of for so long.

Her vision for the garden was of a place to remind her of the rocky coast of Monterey, California. Since North Atlanta and Southern Coastal California are not remotely similar, we compromised, somewhat. 

We were excited about the challenges of her request and the opportunity to use a wider and non-traditional plant palette- and to consider some fun and unusual outdoor features.  Not to mention her preferred color palette of fuchsia, lime green, and orange.  With a few purple and blues thrown in. Then add some grayish foliage.

The recirculating waterfall is the centerpiece of the backyard rock garden.

Although we started with a design for the back garden, as conversation and installation proceeded, we began to expand the scope and make changes as the project developed.  Eventually, the entire property was redone.  It was a fun and rewarding collaboration with the customer providing ideas and excitement, every step of the way.  

The house has a long driveway. We installed rock gardens flank that the long driveway and are full of groundcovers and specimen plants for interesting structure.

Creating the rock gardens on the front hillside and driveway transitioned into replacing her masonry retaining wall with a boulder wall where plants tumble out of the spaces between the stones.

Landscape lighting likes the path and draws attention to the waterfall.

A new stepping-stone path was installed once extensive drainage work had been completed in the area.

The dramatic slope of the backyard garden provided the perfect setting for a recirculating waterfall as well as repeating the theme of rock gardens, conifers and specimen miniature trees, while preserving an existing boulder wall.   

Landscape lighting provides subtle wayfinding for evening visitors as well as accenting the waterfall.

Our client knows and loves her plants and after just two years, her TLC is evident. By providing proper drainage, irrigation, soil building, and carefully selected and expertly planted trees, shrubs, flowering perennials and groundcover we gave her garden the structure and diversity required to make the garden exactly what our customer wanted. She loves it!

Live Christmas Trees: Tips For Success

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Thinking about trying a living Christmas tree this year? Choose a regular sized tree and plant it in your landscape or go the popular tabletop route and use it as the anchor in a planted pot!  Here are some tips.

Before you buy your tree, decide where you will plant it. Most conifers prefer full sun; check your tree’s requirement.

Dig a hole ahead of time, store the soil, and keep the location moist and insulated by filling the hole with leaves.


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Trees are sold container-grown or balled-and-burlapped. If it is B&B, you’ll need a big container for indoor use.

To keep your tree alive while it is inside the house, place the tree away from direct heat sources and water your tree daily with ice cubes placed onto the top of the root ball. About 30 cubes for a regular sized tree.




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If your string lights generate lots of heat use them for short periods of time.

Fockele Garden Company Receives A National Award Of Excellence

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The Fockele Garden Company is proud to announce it has been awarded a Silver Award of Excellence by the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

The company was awarded for its part in creating the Courtyard Waterfall at Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton.

The waterfall garden was made possible by Chris and Jane Smoot, who hoped for “a waterfall that would replicate nature from the north Georgia mountains, a natural setting that would provide a place for patients’ families, providers, staff and the rest of the community to find replenishment and solace in this busy world.”

The plaza allows patients, visitors, and staff to step outdoors into nature in a very peaceful setting. Said Anthony Williamson, president of NGMC Braselton. “The Courtyard Waterfall creates a whole new experience and level of healing in the plaza through the sight and sounds of moving water.”

Construction of the garden, which spanned a year’s time, was completed in July 2019.

The project was the result of collaboration between The Medical Center Foundation, HGOR Planners and Landscape Architects, Northeast Georgia Medical Center and Chris and Jane B. Smoot.

Courtyard Waterfall is one of the many therapeutic gardens found on NGHS campuses that the Fockele Garden Company has participated in creating.

Others include, Jack and Janice Frost Water Garden, Christian-David Family Pet Park, Anne’s Garden, Wilheit-Keys Peace Garden, Rotary Entrance Plaza, Nell’s Prayer Garden, Pope Family Garden, and two Lovelight Plazas. Each garden was totally funded through philanthropy with signature gifts to The Medical Center Foundation.

Each year, the National Association Landscape Professionals Awards of Excellence recognizes exceptional landscape, lawn care, and interior plantscape design projects from around the nation. This year,110 awards were bestowed for maintenance, design/build or contracting projects.