For a woody ground cover, try Arctostaphylos edmundsii 'Carmel Sur' more commonly known as sur manzanita. This low-growing ground cover is tolerant of partial shade and its good form- dark-green full foliage- makes it an attractive plant anywhere.
Soft pink flowers show in March and April. The compact Oregon grape, Mahonia aquifolium compacta, will give you a mass of bright-green foliage from several inches high to clumps 18 inches tall. Its chrome-yellow flowers appear in 2- to 3 inch clusters from March through May and are followed by black berries in the summer.