groundcover for shady area under Maple and Oak
I'm attaching a picture of our patio and a portion of our yard next to it. I've just nearly broken my back taking out an ivy-covered fence that had surrounded the patio, along with the ivy and assorted weeds under the two trees. That done, My wife and I want to plant the area with something that our kids can walk on occasionally.
My options, as I see them, are:
(1) try to thin out the trees' canopies and grow a shade tolerant grass. Difficult, since not much grass seems to grow anywhere near the maple; or
(2) use a shade-loving groundcover that can be walked on periodically. We could border the groundcover with some shade-loving plants and/or bushes. My initial thought was creeping liriope as the groundcover, as my wife wants a "clean" look that the kids can walk on. We are, however, open to other suggestions.
I welcome any thoughts and/or suggestions. Thanks.