Lee County - Why We Love Landscaping Historic Homes - PEER LANDSCAPING, Custom Design & Install, Fort Myers, FL

November 6, 2023by Megan Desautel

Owning a home in the historic district of Fort Myers is a dream for many living in Southwest Florida, because these properties are known for their unique character. To preserve the charm of these historic homes, there are often strict guidelines regarding construction, renovation, and landscaping. If you’re considering landscaping a historic home, it’s advisable to seek the expertise of a professional who can create a design that complies with these guidelines. Our experienced team at Peer Landscaping understands traditional Florida landscaping and can help you bring your vision for your historic home to life.

We follow a number of guidelines when designing a landscape for a historic home. After all, we want to preserve the look and feel of the time period when the home was built, whether that’s the Edison and Ford turn of the century, the Art Deco era of the 1920s or the mid-century modern style of the 1950s. All housing boom periods for Southwest Florida. Here are some of our guidelines:

  • Embracing Traditional Florida Design: In historic districts, we feel it’s essential to avoid resort-style landscaping commonly seen in the beach areas. The goal is to enhance the property’s character rather than distract from it. The best approach is to adopt a traditional Florida design that emphasizes well-maintained native plants and trees.
  • Choosing Native Vegetation: Fort Myers’ unique climate and soil conditions play a crucial role in plant selection. We like to opt for local plants that thrive in the area, ensuring your landscaping fits seamlessly into the historical district’s surroundings. Using native vegetation helps maintain uniformity with neighboring properties.
  • Adding Your Personal Touch: While historical districts have specific plant restrictions, this doesn’t mean we can’t incorporate your favorite plants or suitable alternatives. Our team collaborates with clients to ensure their designs not only meet local guidelines but also reflect their preferences.


Lee County Requirements for Landscaping Historical Homes


Historical districts in Lee County, FL are subject to guidelines that aim to preserve their natural beauty and character. Peer Landscaping is well-versed in these regulations, ensuring that your property not only looks appealing but also complies with these historical district guidelines:

  • Complying with Visibility and Uniformity: While there are guidelines in place, they primarily emphasize keeping the structures visible, ensuring consistency, and maintaining the historic district’s aesthetics. If you plan to replace existing shrubs or trees, approval may be required to ensure the new choice aligns with the existing foliage in the area. Our experienced designers simplify this process.
  • Following Path and Material Guidelines: Historical guidelines often dictate the materials that can be used for pathways and walkways. These materials should match the historical standards or what is prevalent in the area. Guidelines also encourage the use of gardens in the rear of the property, hedge walls, and distinct features that both meet historical standards and add a unique touch to your outdoor space.
  • Enhancing the Property’s Character: The central tenet of the guidelines emphasizes that landscaping should enhance the property’s character and contribute positively to the historic district as a whole. By keeping this guideline in mind, we can create the perfect outdoor space
  • While there are guidelines to follow, there is ample room for our professional design to ensure your outdoor space is a perfect fit for your historic home.


Using Native Plants 

When we create a landscape design for a historic home, we always look to highlight the property’s character and traditional setting. It just makes sense to use native plants in our landscape design, particularly for the historical homes, because they reflect the natural beauty of Southwest Florida. Here are some of the guidelines we follow:

  • Choosing What Thrives in the Local Climate: Fort Myers experiences a warm, humid climate year-round, with higher temperatures in the summer. This area is considered to be Zone 10, or subtropic. Native plants are acclimated to these conditions, ensuring the health and longevity of your landscape.
  • Complying with Historical Standards: Historical districts often require properties to have common features. Using local plants and trees that naturally occur in the district ensures your home blends seamlessly with its surroundings and adheres to historical district guidelines.
  • Heirloom Seeds for an Antique Feel: Using heirloom seeds allows us to recreate the landscape as it was when the home was built, paying homage to the property’s roots. Using heirloom seeds or plants that match the time period of the original building of the home preserves the historical feel of the home. Heirloom seeds are an excellent choice for preserving your property’s history and ensuring the legacy of your home and its landscaping endures.