I need some ideas on how to landscape a very steep and shady hillside.

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I live in a historic neighborhood in Atlanta where we own two side by side lots. Our yard is nicely landscaped- with the exception of "the hill". It is flanked by two large trees which throw a lot of shade (pun intended). Also, their root systems are all through the hillside, making it almost impossible to plant anything other than grass (which doesn't fare that well in all the shade or our hot summers - it is very patchy). I thought about planting ivy, but that brings its own issues. I have a nice flat spot at the top, with boxwoods and nandinas. The staircase is all that's left of a home that burned down in the 1950's - I'd like to uncover the rest of it. Thoughts?
q i need some ideas on how to landscape a very steep and shady hillside
My husband made the Little Free Library - the only cute thing on the hill :)
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