Landscaping for More Extreme Weather

Selecting the right natural stone and hardscape for extreme weather conditions

UPDATED: November 1st, 2023

Over the past decade California has experienced more extreme weather, including wetter winters and drier summers.  In order to prepare for this type of weather year-round, it helps if the hardscape materials used for landscaping reflect this volatility.

Wet-Weather Landscaping Tips

Start by understanding the slope and which way the water runs. Adding a properly installed retaining wall can help with erosion by diverting water away from certain areas. Using dry beds with river rock, or gravel can also be a great solution for rainwater drainage.

Sustainable Drainage

One unique hardscape material, permeable pavers, can provide dual benefits by providing a fire buffer and a sustainable urban drainage system. These pavers help return rainfall back into the groundwater table. These pavers also help reduce the amount of pollutants that can find their way back into the water system.


It’s important to create space around your home that gives it the best chance of surviving a fire.  This buffer or defensible space is important to create between your home and the plants, trees and other items on your property.

Farmer’s Almanac and Natural Stone

The Farmer’s Almanac recommends you create space between plants and your house, using nonflammable materials such as gravel, rock, flagstone or concrete decking.  This way, if a spark falls in this area, there is nothing to burn. Note: Most natural stone can withstand high heat, but is not fire-resistant.

Peninsula Building Materials carries a variety of pebbles and petite materials, including DG, gravel, Pami Pebbles and Mexican Pebbles.  PBM also carries field stone and boulders.  You can have it all … Give your  landscape an interesting and responsible design, mix and match different sizes of gravel and field stone to give the landscape texture, depth, fire-barrier and permeable for the rain. 

Designing a landscape that acts as a fire barrier and water-wise can be pleasing to the eye. Be creative in your landscape in terms of color, size and shape. PBM carries a number of terrific natural materials that are great for building up your home’s fire resistance and is more sustainably-designed..  Stop by one of our four PBM yards in the Bay Area to select one of a kind boulders.  Below, the landscaper mixed McGregor Lake boulders with Mexican pebbles to provide a stunning landscape design.

Use Natural Stone

Hardscaping your front entry with natural stone, porcelain and/or brick or concrete pavers is a great addition as well.  Peninsula Building Materials carries a wide variety of hardscape materials including bluestone, Arizona flagstone, limestone, brick and more.

Peninsula Building Materials also offers a wide variety of thin veneer – to discover more about its use, reach out to the Mountain View Showroom today to make an  appointment.

Thin veneer is made from both natural stone and manufactured stone; both offers all the fire-resistance benefits that stucco or brick deliver.

Landscaping With Natural Stone and Fountains

Landscape architecture projects are becoming more in tune with California drought as well. Installing a fountain with recycled water brings interest to your space and will keep the birds happy too. Adding a K2 Stone fountain in a landscape design may replace water dependent gardens and also keep the birds happy. Peninsula Building Materials is an exclusive dealer of K2 Stone in California.

Looking for More Inspiration?

For more inspiration, check out the PBM website or the PBM Pinterest page for more ideas. If you have any questions or a topic you’d be interested in learning more about – leave us a comment below or on our social media. Or reach out to us directly.

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