Did you know that every three months Walt Disney World’s 40 square miles undergoes a beautiful transformation over night? The flower beds at Disney are changed out four times a year, using 3.5 million annual flowers, herbs, and vegetables every year to create the magical look we all expect from this premier destination. According to a top executive at the company, Disney realizes how important plants are, and they consider their gardens to be the “guardians of the first impression.”
We know you feel that same way about your home’s curb appeal. At Peer Landscaping, we love to create resort -style landscape design for homeowners living here in Southwest Florida, aka Paradise. We learned fairly early on that it requires more than a one-time landscape design and installation to maintain a high-end resort look. That level of luxury requires close attention to detail and regular maintenance. That’s why we created a division of Peer Landscaping called Fort Myers Garden Service. We wanted to make sure our landscape designs were being properly maintained by providing the appropriate pruning, and mulching, as well as keeping an eye out for fungus, disease, or insect issues in your garden beds.
One of the most important services we offer through Fort Myers Garden Service is a quarterly flower bed transformation. Four times a year our floral horticulturist, Brittany, will meet with you to discuss filling your garden with new flowering annuals, perfect for the season. This kind of detail is important because nothing makes your landscape look more tired than flowers that are wilting and plants that are dying because they are out of season. Also, although they are named “annuals,” the truth is that in Southern Florida, most annuals will only last through one season, not for a year.
At Peer, we feel annuals should serve as an accent to our landscape design, not a dominant feature. We help you choose annuals that will harmonize with the setting and the color of your home. We offer five to six varieties per season, and you can choose what you want. Combinations of many flower colors and plant forms are appropriate for a “cottage garden” look, but attractive flower beds can also be achieved by using just one or two types. Pricing is determined by how many plants you want, not by how many varieties you choose from what we offer per season. Color should be used to direct the eye. For example, a colorful flower bed along a walkway to your home visually pulls a visitor to the front door.
If you are living in Florida for the first time in your life, you may have thought we have no seasons here, and it’s the same weather all year round. But that is an incorrect assumption, as we do indeed have planting seasons here. Our weather is hotter in the summer than it is in the winter. Summer weather is not only hotter, but also wetter with rainfall in the afternoons almost every day. There is actually a springtime transition to that hotter, wetter weather as well, when some days are cooler and dry, and others are rainy. Autumn weather, in a similar way, starts to get drier and cooler, and the significant difference between summer and winter in Southwest Florida is how dry we get in the winter. Humidity levels drop tremendously, as does rainfall. In fact, a lot of snowbirds are shocked to discover that during the winter months, many cities in Lee and Collier County have watering schedules for using your irrigation system. Some plants die off during the dry months and come back in the spring when regular rains start to fall again.
If you are new to Southwest Florida, you may not realize exactly how mercurial our seasons can be here. For example, some years we have a nice cool spring, and others the weather can be wintry one day and summery the next. The season has officially changed when the weather becomes consistently cooler and drier for the winter, and consistently hot, humid, and rainy for the summer. When exactly is each season? Here’s a primer on that:
Winter: Mid December through March
Spring: March through late May
Summer: Early June through early October
Autum: Mid-September through early December
At Peer Landscaping we take our job as professional horticulturists seriously and with great passion. With our seasonal annual install, we’ve done the research to figure out which flowering annuals bloom the best in which season. As such we’ve created a specific collection of five to six types of flowering plants for each season, and you can choose which annuals you want in your landscape. These are the annuals that do best for that season, so you don’t have to do any research or think about it, we’ve done that work for you. You may notice that there are some plants we use in our seasonal plantings that are actually perennials. That’s because we’ve chosen plants according to what they look like during that season, and we’ve chosen these groupings according to what looks great together too. We’ve chosen our planting dates according to what the plants of that season need. So, for example, winter annuals need cooler drier weather, so if we plant them too early in the fall, when the weather is still extremely hot, they may not make it.
Wondering where our seasonal plantings will go in your landscape? Here are a few ideas:
- Garden beds on either side of your front door
- Border plants alongside your driveway and walkways
- Planters beside your front door or throughout the landscape
- Under trees for bright pops of color, a perfect place for those plants that want partial to full shade
- Border plants for around your pool or pool cage
- Window boxes, or hanging baskets
Here’s some information about our seasonal flower collections.
Annual Flower Collection for Winter, Beginning December 21st
- Mona Lavender, Size 1 foot to 2 feet, prefers partial sun, needs moist soil, color lavender
- Coleus, size 1 foot to 15 inches, prefers full sun to partial sun, needs well-draining soil, colors, lime, red, purple, multicolored
- Sun Impatient, size 2 feet to 2 feet, prefers full sun to partial shade, needs moist soil, colors red, orange, pink, white
- Delphinium, size 14 inches to 16 inches, prefers full sun, needs moderate water, color blue
- Amaryllis, size 1 foot to 2 feet, prefers partial sun, needs moist well-draining soil, colors red, orange, pink and white
Annual Flower Collection for Spring, Beginning March 20th
- Geranium, size 11 inches to 15 inches, prefers sun to partial shade, needs moist soil, colors pink, red, coral, purple, lavender, white, butterfly orchid
- Penta, size 18 inches to 24 inches, prefers full sun, needs heavy watering, colors deep pink, red, white
- Vinca, size 10 inches to 1 foot, prefers full to partial sun, drought tolerant plant which needs minimal water, colors red, white, pink, strawberry, Cora orchid
- Marigold, size 10 inches to 1 foot, prefers full sun, needs moderate watering, colors orange, red, yellow
- Lantana, size 16 inches to 2 feet, prefers full sun, needs moderate watering, colors cherry sunrise, red, pink, lavender, white and new gold
Annual Flower Collection for Summer, Beginning June 21st
- Blue Daze, size 9 inches to 18 inches, prefers full sun, needs moderate watering, colors blue
- Gaillardia (Blanket Flower), size 12 inches to 18 inches, prefers full sun, needs moist soil, colors orange, pink, yellow
- Dwarf Hibiscus, size 2 feet to 4 feet, prefers full sun, needs moderate watering, colors yellow, pink, orange, red
- Dwarf Allamanda, size 3 feet to 5 feet, prefers full sun, needs moderate watering, colors yellow
- Angelonia, size 15 inches to 20 inches, prefers full to partial fun, needs moderate watering, colors purple, white, raspberry
Annual Flower Collection for Fall, Beginning September 22nd
- Dusty Miller, size 6 inches to 1 foot, prefers full sun, drought tolerant plant which needs minimal water, colors silver
- Celocia (Cocks Comb), size 1 foot to 18 inches, prefers full sun, drought tolerant plant which needs minimal water, colors red, pink
- Begonia, size 18 inches to 36 inches, prefers partial sun, needs moist soil, colors red, white, pink
- Salvia, size 10 inches to 14 inches, prefers partial sun, drought tolerant plant which needs minimal water, colors red, vista mix, purple
- Chrysanthemums, size 6 inches to 1 foot, prefers full sun, needs heavy watering, colors Marsha pink, Wilma white, hankie yellow, bonnie red
- Vinca, size 10 inches to 1 foot, prefers full sun to partial sun, drought tolerant plant which needs minimal water, Colors red, white, pink, strawberry, Cora orchid