What to do between houses?
There is a swale that drains water between my house and the neighbor to the east. We both have trees to shade the front portion and over time the Bermuda grass refuses to grow there, naturally. I have raised and thinned my Chinese Pistache and Lacey Bark Elm trees but his Bradford Pear is just too dense we believe to ever get grass back. So we are looking for solutions to have some kind of cover, whether softscape or hardscape, to prevent erosion and provide a path to walk front to back.
The space is approximately 20 feet wide at the front tapering to 10 by the driveways in back, and about 50 feet long. Grass grows just fine by the driveways and a row of Bridal Wreath Spirea does well next to my house. But in between is bare - not even weeds, just tree roots and dirt. We thought of stepping stones, alternate grass, river rock, walkable ground cover, extending the planter under my trees, but don't know what's best for an area that gets a range of morning sun, dappled shade, 2 or 3 hours of intense sun, afternoon shade, and intense heat in Texas summer. Any suggestions are appreciated.