I've been ruminating on the design changes that my front yard needs in order to be more of a year round pleaser.
I came across Flower to the People in the LA Times home improvement blog, Pardon Our Dust, today. They have a nice series of pictures of their work (which, sadly, I could only get to open correctly in Internet Explorer). Some of the design elements they use may be apropos.
I have a feeling of urgency about modifications to the garden right now: October through January or February is the time to plant California native plants, which need the winter rains and cool growing temperatures of winter and spring to get a good start on the summer.