What to replace gravel/rocks in Brooklyn back yard with?
Hello All: I just moved into a garden apartment in Brooklyn. The garden has earth sections with plants growing in them around the edge, and an oval earth section in the middle, but the rest of the ground was covered by the last tenants with white gravel (perhaps I'm using the wrong phrase as I'm from New Zealand - I mean small angular white rocks about an inch wide). I guess they did it to avoid the hassle of grass growing difficulties or browning/dying over winter, and it looks nice in an "ornamental" way, but I prefer a more natural garden and the thought of not being able to walk in your garden with bare feet in summer is incomprehensible.
So my question is, what would people recommend trying to replace it with? Raking up all of the stones and planting the entire yard (about 50 x 30 feet) with grass seems like a major job for a rental property I may ony be at for a couple of summers, so I'm considering removing maybe a quarter of it as a test project. I like the idea of growing ground cover other than grass (including moss although that may be a little difficult), and I've never tried to grow ground cover/grass over a large area, or in a place like New York with fairly extreme seasons, so I have no idea when I'd need to start the replacement.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!