This small garden was dominated by a mature avocado tree. The owner loved the tree and the avocados that it produced (and they are delicious) the tree cast heavy shade over most of the garden and the dense leaf litter is an issue. There was the odd tuft of grass hanging onto life but this was not an area where a lawn could really survive.
The solution - turn most of the area into a decomposed granite hardscape while creating a border of flowering shrubs at the edge of the garden where there is some light. A low bed of succulents, mainly Dudleyas, along an existing patio area reflect the agaves that were already planted along the side of the yard.
A simple solution that gives the client something good to look at from the house all through the year.