Outside Matters

Landscape architecture - what is it? 

An eye-catching home oozing with curb appeal always has striking landscaping. The design, balance and upkeep are all carefully planned and managed, as you homeowners know. We caught up with landscape architect Mike Flaugh to ask about his passion, profession, projects and pets.

NCL: This is our PETS issue. What should we be concerned about with our landscaping for our pets?

Mike Flaugh: The one common thing to consider with your pet in your landscape is poisonous plants. Unfortunately, the list of toxic plants is huge, many more than you think. In most cases, for there to be poisoning, the dog would need to consume a lot of the plant. The best advice is never to leave a puppy in the garden unattended. Adult dogs who are no longer eating everything they see are pretty safe with regular ornamental plantings. If you have a puppy, it is great to start training the dog to use the area of mulch and shrubs to do its business, not the grass, this will make your life much easier! Also, synthetic turf is gaining in popularity for dog lawns.  

NCL: How does the magic happen?

MF: We are boutique, and passionate. Team talent, experience and technology enable us to deliver high-level, sophisticated design without losing the human touch.  We have become experts in code compliance, signage, furnishings, pool finishes, event spaces, pergolas, lighting, audio, putting greens…and, of course, landscaping. 

NCL: Tell us about the process.

MF: New clients are often surprised to learn that we have no trucks or shovels, and we do not own a nursery.  We are able to provide the client with three separate, apples-to-apples proposals from the best local landscape contractors in the area. Also, the separation of design and installation allows us to fairly and honestly evaluate performance and quality. 


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