.........California natives are in bold type

With appropriate grouping or pruning many of the lower growing shrubs can function as larger scale ground covers

Baccharis pilularis
("dwarf coyote bush") Evergreen, very drought tolerant, full sun. This California native is extremely tough, can be attractive if kept gently sheared. Grows very fast, the flip side of that is that it can be somewhat short lived.
Evergreen, want plenty of water to look good. Full sun to partial shade depending on cultivar. Clumping bamboos are less of a management issue than the running types. Good for quick screens.
("Box")Evergreen, needs summer water to look good, grows in full sun to partial shade. If the situation is right these are useful and attractive hedges and shrublets.
Carpenteria californica
("Bush Anemone") Beautiful native evergreen shrub with big white anemone like flowers. Grows to about 5 ft tall and does best in an underwatered easty facing exposure.
Ceratostigma griffithii and Ceratostigma willmottianum
Semi deciduous, but should be cut to ground every winter. Regular to little water, full to to partial shade. Very nice blue flowers on slightly rough looking 2-3 ft. high rounded shrubs.
Evergreen, wants some water to look good and partial to full shade. This is one of the shrubs called "mock orange" because of its fragrant white flowers. Has a tropical look and grows quickly to about 5-6ft tall and wide.
Some are evergreen, some decidious. Some want less water than others and some grow in full sun, some in shade. But deer seem to leave them all alone and they all have fragrant flowers
Evergreen, drought tolerant, full sun. Border line hardy here - dies in our coldest winters but the flip side is that they are very fast growing and they make a large shrub. There is one with nice purply foliage.
Eleagnus ebbingei
Evergreen, little or regular water. Not a terribly attractive shrub, but very fast growing, tough, adaptable. It makes a good casual hedge type plant.
("Heather") Evergreen, some water with good drainage, full sun. This is another plant that is wonderful where it is happy, which unfortunately is not everywhere. Feathery foliage and sweet flowers. Varying heights.
Evergreen, drought tolerant plants for full sun usually. These plants originate in Australia and are border line tender in our coldest winters. Attractive "ferny" foliage and the flowers are usually Hummingbird pleasing red.
("Holly") Evergreen, regular water and full sun to partial shade. There are a lot of varieties of different heights, leaf shape and berry production.
Evergreen, drought tolerant, full sun. Sturdy shrubs, out of fashion in a lot of circles right now, but there are some very useful, attractive ones available. Do be aware that the big ones can get very big with age.
Semi-deciduous, drought tolerant, but look better with water, full sun to partial shade. All have relativly large bright golden yellow flowers. Usually grow in the 4-5 ft. tall and wide range. There is one with purply new foliage that is particularly nice.
Evergreen, drought tolerant but appreciate some water,full sun. Wonderful, fragrant foliage, many different flower, foliage and size variations. Seem to be rather short-lived as far as attractive appearance goes. Usually at their best the first 2 0r 3 yrs, but at least they grow quickly when replacement is necessary.
("Tea Tree") Evergreen, drought tolerant, full sun. Another fast, easy, pretty shrub from Australia that die or suffer heavy damage in our coldest winters. Lots of different ones to choose from, with different foliage, habits of growth, and flower color.
Lovely arching shrub. Foliage comes in a large color range, from very purple to green blushed with pink. Several kinds, from lower groundcover types to nice big shrubs.
('Oregon Grape") Evergreen native for shady areas. Several kinds, from low groundcover types to nice big shrubs. Clusters of small fuzzy yellow flowers followed by dark edible, but bland berries. The leaves are glossy green, sometimes with a nice bronzy blush, usually prickly.
Evergreen, some water and shade. Several kinds are available, some with smaller leathery leaves, some with quite large tropical looking leaves, and all with fragrant flowers. The most widely available is Michelia figo or "banana shrub" that grows large with time, about 12 to 15 high and 5 to 6 ft. wide. A good plant for shady screens.
Myrsine africana
("African Boxwood") Evergreen, little water when established, full sun to partial shade. Slow growing to about 5ft. Not terribly exciting, but a useful plant. Can be kept clipped.
("Myrtle")Evergreen, fairly drought tolerant when established, full sun. There are the tall versions - can grow 20 ft or more tall with time and are good for hedges. The compact ones have smaller leaves and may eventually grow to 5 ft., but are easily kept to any desired height. The foliage has a nice clean aromatic fragrance, the flowers are white and there are little black berries.
("Heavenly Bamboo") Usually evergreen, wants a bit of water,full sun to shade. Reddish foliage and a lacy look. A lot of different ones with varying heights, leaves and color. Looks at home in a Japanese style garden.
Evergreen, drought tolerant, full sun. Tough and scorned by some as a "Freeway plant" they have their uses. Good screens and hedges. Think seriously about your color choice - the bright pink ones can be very bright in a small home garden.
Most evergreen, want some water, sun to shade, avoiding hottest sun. Wonderfully fragrant, some varieties are amazingly so. Attractive leathery foliage, some have spines. They are well know for their slow growth, but Osmanthus fragrans 'Thunbergii' has actually grown relativly quickly for me.
("Mexican Oregano") Evergreen, moderate water,full sun. Glossy, aromatic foliage that can be use in cooking. Grows into an upright little shrub about 2 ft. tall. The little tubular flowers are a soft lavender color.
Lepechinia calycina, Lepechinia fragrans
("Pitcher sage") Evergreen, drought tolerant, full sun. These natives have strongly aromatic foliage, hairy grey-green leaves and low key flowers. They can grow about 4 to 5 ft. tall and wide.
("Mint Bush") Evergreen, drought tolerant,full sun. Another pretty Australian, borderline hardy in our coldest winter. Aromatic foliage and usually purple or lilac small hanging bells of flowers.
Evergreen, regular to moderate water, best in partial shade to full sun in cooler areas. Only the big, leathery leaved Rhododendrons seem to be really deer tolerant. Azaleas seem to be browsed frequently.
Evergreen, drought tolerant, full sun. Besides the ground cover versions there are quite a few varieties of Rosemary that grow quite large. Some will mature in the 5 ft. range, a few taller, and some in the middle "mounding" range. Nice Blue flowers and dark green foliage. Must have good drainage, and don't like to be fertilized usually.
Evergreen, moderate to little water, can grow in deep shade, will do fine in full sun in cooler areas. These are slow-growing, glossy dark green mounding shrubs. Some will grow to about 3-4ft. tall and wide, on variety is much lower and seems even slower. They have little white fragrant flowers.
Senecio Vira Vira
Evergreen, drought tolerant, full sun. Very silvery foliage, unremarkable buff yellow flowers and a mounding habit to about 2-3 ft. high and wide.
Evergreen, drought tolerant,full sun. Generally rounded, about 2 ft. high and wide. There are green versions and grey versions. Most have little bright yellow button flowers, but one version has a wonderful soft grey green foliage and creamy yellow flowers.....very nice.
Several different ones, evergreen to semi-deciduous, with nice purple or blue, yellow centered flowers. Some grow quite large with arching branches. They want regular watering and usually can handle some shade. The big catch is that the showier ones are borderline hardy around here.
Vaccinium ovatum
("Huckleberry") Evergreen, moderate water, partial shade to full sun in cooler areas. Will grow in deep shade, but probably won't fruit. The fruit is wonderful, but even without fruit Vaccinium is a nice addition to the landscape where it is adapted. Grows very slowly to about 5-6 ft. tall and wide.
("Chaste Tree") One of my favorites. Decidious, drought tolerant, full sun. Big spikes of purple flowers in August. Can be pruned (in winter) to maintain anywhere from a small 3ft. rounded shrub to a large open shrub, or it can be allowed to grow unpruned, eventually becoming a 12-15 ft. small tree. Not a very fast grower. The berries are used in some women's herbal mixtures.