Greatplantpicks.org is an excellent resource for some plants that are good performers for residential landscapes. Based in Washington, their recommendations are geared for the Pacific Northwest, but most of the plants would do well in California too.
The website’s mission is: “Designed to help home gardeners identify unbeatable plants for their Pacific Northwest gardens, you will find well over 300 Great Plant Picks with helpful information and pictures.
The program is targeted at gardeners in the maritime Pacific Northwest. This includes gardens north of Eugene, Oregon; south of Vancouver, British Columbia; and west of the Cascade and Coast mountains.”
The .pdf sheets offer a great and easy rundown of their selections.
Sample of a plant sheet for one our favorites Carex ‘Ice Dance’