I've been trying for years to find plants that will survive in the parkway in front of my house. There's no irrigation and it's compact clay. Everything I plant seems to die within a few weeks. Out of desperation, I went to the Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley. The Theodore Payne Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to preserving California's native vegetation. I was very impressed with the nursery and the staff there. The person that helped me was very knowledgeable about which plants would work for me. The other great thing about the nursery is that each of the plants is marked with the soil and light conditions that it will do well in. The signs made it easy to browse around by myself and find plants that would work for me.
They also have an education center there. The Currants, Gooseberries and Manzanitas class looked interesting to me especially since I like to grow edible plants.