SWFl Living Has Special Considerations, Peer Landscaping, FL

April 30, 2023by PeerLandscaping

Living in Southwest Florida can feel like a permanent vacation. People from all over the world flock to our area year-round in search of warmer weather, vibrant culture and the unique tropical vibes found in our area. We also have some of the prettiest tropical islands around. If you’ve bought a home on Sanibel, Captiva, or Marco Islands, then you know just how beautiful those locations are, and you’ll want a landscape design that not only compliments the natural beauty of island life, but also adheres to the strict environmental rules of island living.

Peer Landscaping, based in Fort Myers and we have been making people’s outdoor space more inviting, comfortable, upscale and more tropical for years. By offering some of the most unique landscaping elements around, employing a team of professional landscape installers and offering state-of-the-art 3D design for our clients, we can make your dream outdoor space a reality.

Peer LandscapingMost of the projects we take on are larger in scale, so permitting is often necessary from local governing bodies. While this is true in most coastal environments, it’s a bigger issue on the Southwest Florida islands where so much natural habitat exists close to the Gulf of Mexico.
There are stricter rules in place regarding runoff of soil and chemicals, the space you can use for landscaping and other important regulations. It’s important to consider these stringent requirements before beginning any project, and we will be sure to get the proper permitting before actually starting any work.

In the same effort to keep the environment healthy, it’s also key to use natural fertilizers and pesticides. Permitting will ensure runoff stays to a minimum, but using natural additives rather than chemical-laden fertilizers will help plants in the area thrive while preserving the unique ecosystem of our Gulf.

In addition, selecting the correct vegetation for the project is key, more so in this environment than others. In any landscaping project, you want to select plants, trees, shrubs and grass which thrive in the area and around each other. In Southwest Florida, you must also consider selecting ones which thrive in soils with a higher salt content, and where even the air has a higher salt content..

Location-Appropriate Tropical Plants

Peer LandscapingAfter taking the ecosystem and local ordinances into account, it’s important to remember you do have options which can work with your personal style and the vibe of the whole area. You aren’t stuck with just using palm trees and St. Augustine grass, you do have options. But when we design landscapes for island living, we must take into account the high salt content of the soil and the air in these microclimates. This is just one of the unique landscaping challenges which come with the humid weather and salty soil which is a characteristic of many properties in the area. People who move to the area or try to landscape on their own find out quickly which plants won’t survive the salinity of the soil, so selecting salt-tolerant plants is key for a beautiful and thriving landscape anywhere in the area.

So let’s discuss some of the most popular salt tolerant plants we use in our landscape design, and the importance of using these plants when working on beachfront properties. When a landscape has particularly salty soil, we can make recommendations for grasses, flowers, vines, shrubs and trees which all can thrive in salty conditions. We have an extensive list of salt-tolerant vegetation we can use together to create any desired look. Many people immediately think of palm trees, but we can also plant oak, cedar and/or mangrove trees in salty soil to match any client’s desired look.

Peer Landscaping Fort Myers FLSome clients become very frustrated when trying to grow a lush, green lawn in salty soils. Using Zoysia or St. Augustine grass is ideal for these conditions and these grasses can thrive around the ocean.

We have a long list of flowers, vines and shrubs to pair with these grasses and trees, all of which can provide different color palettes, styles and designs to meet our clients’ desires. While you might feel boxed in if your property has salty soil, in many cases we can use salt-tolerant plants to protect less tolerant plants. So if your heart is set on a certain plant which isn’t as salt tolerant, we can still try to make it work in your garden.

Incorporate Tropical Elements

If you’re going for a tropical feel, lean into the idea of bright colors, vertical elements and rich vegetation. In any tropical design there will be a lot of green, so the key is putting in pops of bright color like bougainvillea, coleus, and oleander.

In addition, adding vertical elements like trellises, pergolas or using existing walls as places for vegetation to climb can really give the feel of being in a natural outdoor paradise. We can help choose the salt tolerant vines that provide the prettiest and best smelling flowers for your island home as well.

Natural Fertilizers Help Preserve the Environment

southern style landscapingProximity to the Gulf makes our Southwest Florida islands so desirable to live on, but it also presents some unique challenges. One area where we must be careful to protect the environment is the choice of fertilizers and pesticides we use to keep our Gulf and the animals and corals that live there thriving for generations to come.

At Peer Landscaping, we use our years of experience in local landscaping practices, state-of-the-art design tools and professional service to make our clients’ vision come to life.

Since we are FloGrown, we understand how important it is to use natural fertilizers and pesticides in our clients’ landscaping jobs. Whether it’s a new landscape design or we’re working with an existing project, we’re always cognizant of the makeup of our additives.

The reason it’s so important here in Southwest Florida is because we’re located so close to the Gulf. Anywhere in the Fort Myers area feels like a stone’s throw to the Gulf, so protecting the ocean and its wildlife is a priority for us. Our goal is to keep our area beautiful not only in the short term, but for years to come.

We have developed an exhaustive list of fertilizers and pesticides made from all natural materials and we’re proud to use only natural additives in our landscaping projects. Since this is the case, our local wildlife and waterways are protected from dangerous chemicals entering their ecosystem through runoff.

Some clients express concerns about the effectiveness of the fertilizers we use and we understand the concern. In the past, harsh chemicals might have been used in areas such as ours to control pests and feed lawns and plants, but realizing the potential danger to the environment has led to innovation in these fields.

Modern natural fertilizers are just as effective as the harsh chemicals of older days, and they don’t harm the environment. Our team uses some of the most cutting edge natural fertilizers and our clients are satisfied with the results, and happy to keep our local ecosystem healthy. Since these fertilizers are specifically designed to be used in areas like ours, we often see better results than using conventional fertilizers with chemicals.

If you have a need for landscape services, whether it’s a small backyard garden, renovating the landscaping of a large commercial space or anything between, we would love to help make your vision a reality through professional landscape services.