Have you ever planted native plants? Some good choices for the central coast of California are the Beach Strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis), the Bush Monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus) and the Scarlet Pimpernal (Anagallis arvenis). Pretty flowers and drought-tolerant: what a perfect addition to the garden. Another favorite of mine is the Ribes Speciosium! Let me know if you have others to add.