We are in the process of landscaping our backyard. I would like to hear some suggestions how to deal with the area under the trees. Can this area be grassed and still survive due to shade issues? Is this an option?
If grass is not the best option then would there be any suitable planting options?
We also wish to relay turf. What would the best approach be when dealing with the existing grassed area? Is it ok to turn over the existing area or would it be best to remove the top layer and restart?
The pavers shown in the photo are temporary until we purchase and lay larger paving stones which lead to a studio. We are considering using ground cover around these for added interest and separation from the grass.
Any tips are appreciated.
Grass will always struggle and not look great under those trees. You could either create a mulched garden bed or look for suitable low-lying shade-tolerant plants. Check out this helpful guide: Shade-loving plants for your garden.
What type of grass do you have currently, and what type do you intend to lay? It would be best to remove what is there presently as it could take hold and mix if they are different. At a minimum, you'll want to turn the soil over to avoid experiencing compaction issues with your new lawn. Here's another useful guide: How to lay turf.
I'm sure you'll pick up some great tips from these articles written by our experienced horticulturalists: How to plan a garden makeover, How to choose plants for your garden and How to give your garden a makeover. For a bit of inspiration while you plan, have a read through our Top 10 most popular garden makeovers.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
I suggest having a look at this discussion - Landscaping front yard by @WoodenGregsWood. The principles applied to the transformation of the front yard should suit your backyard nicely. I've placed a basic sketch of how it could be applied to your existing setup. Please have a look and if you wish to see it in another configuration, please let me know.
It should make mowing easier as it is confined to one space.
Good luck with your landscaping project. As @MitchellMc and @EricL have suggested - growing grass in an area like this will always be a challenge - but it won't be impossible if you are keen to have grass growing all the way to the fence. You would need to choose a grass/turf variety that was quite shade tolerant and ensure that you routinely remove the leaves from the trees that you have growing there as they will negatively affect turf growth.
Personally - I wouldn't do it - too hard to maintain - can't get the mower in there and you'll struggle to keep it looking good.
@robchin's comment about not being able to get the mower in there made me think. What about a grass (Lily family) that is shade tolerant that doesn't require mowing? Mondo grass might be a great solution. It will give you the look of grass without the required maintenance. As mentioned, though, you'll still need to periodically remove debris shed by the trees.
@EricL's rendering would look fantastic, and as per it, I highly recommend you install an edging to define the areas.
Looking forward to seeing your results.