All of these will accept heavy soil. Once established, watering should be kept to a minimum. Most, except Black Diamond, will accept sun and part shade. They will grow differently in the sun and shade so you may have trouble getting a continuous hedge.
1. Mahonia aquifolium ‘Compacta’
More slow growing, but also more permanent. Do not shear, rather cut individual long canes to the ground (like Heavenly Bamboo).
2. Baccharis pilularis ‘Centenniel’
Will require shearing.
B. pilularis ‘Twin Peaks 2’
A spreading ground cover to 3’ tall. Can and should be cut to the ground occasionally.
3. Rhus integrifolia
Likes sun, but will take some shade. Wants to get large. At Santa Barbara Botanic Garden they cut it back to stubs every few years to keep a low, dense hedge.
4. Rhamnus crocea, R. ilicifolia, R. californica ‘Mount San Bruno’
Can be hedged and kept low.
5. Adenostoma fasciculatum ‘Black Diamond’
Delicate when planted and takes time to acclimate. Once they do they are durable, long-lasting plants. Can be cut to the ground if they look bad (after they are well established). Grows here to max 4-5 ft. after many years. Will not take any shade.
6. Lavatera assurgentiflora ‘Purisima’
Extremely fast growing and short-lived (6 yrs +-). Will require frequent pruning to keep low. It spreads wider than it is tall (8 ft or so). Cannot be sheared. Accepts shade.
7. Myrica californica
Forms nice hedge, usually much taller than 3 ft. but can be sheared. Can be a challenging to grow, but it does form a nice hedge that takes shearing.
8. Prunus ilicifolia and P. lyonii
Form nice hedges, shiny leaves.