I recently learned of UC Davis Arboretum's 100 All Star Plants that handle our climate, grow easily, resist pest and diseases, require little water, and look great in the garden! Their website not only lists the 100 All Stars but lets you search plants based on the criteria, provides planting and care instructions, and lists where you can purchase the plants.
You can see them in action at the Arboretum Monday -Friday 8am - 5pm.
The El Dorado County Master Gardeners also have a section dedicated to All Star plants in their Demonstration Gardens - Sherwood Gardens at the El Dorado Center of Folsom Lake College. It is open to the public now through the end of October 2016 on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 10am - 2pm.