A flower garden full of beautiful blooms can be an attractive and eye-catching addition to any garden, whether it's a small plot outside your home or a sprawling green space outside your office block. Any gardener worth their salt knows that proper mulching is one of the most essential landscaping products for maintaining a flower garden throughout the year. Laying down a layer of mulch on the soil of your flower garden will help it retain moisture during dry weather and also inhibit the growth of weeds.
If you have a flower garden that needs mulching, there are an enormous variety of different mulch types to choose from, and some choices, such as newspaper or rubber chips, can be somewhat unsightly. However, you also have many decorative mulches to choose from, which can protect and promote the growth of your flowers while presenting an attractive appearance in their own right. Here are just some of the decorative mulches you have to choose from.
Wood and bark chip mulch
A classic choice seen in a wide variety of gardens, a layer of wood and/or bark chips spread across the soil of your flower garden can be surprisingly attractive, particularly if you choose coloured mulches dyed with biodegradable colours. These mulches are excellent at retaining moisture and also provide essential nutrients for your flowers as the chips slowly rot, making them a fine choice for nurturing more delicate flowers like lilies or terrestrial orchids.
Be aware that these mulches will need to be renewed every few years and can blow away in high winds if your flower garden is relatively exposed. Brick of concrete edging placed around your flowers will help to prevent this.
Rock and stone mulch
A disarmingly simple method of mulching your flower garden is to scatter rocks and stones over the surface of your soil, and many landscaping suppliers stock bags of rocks specifically chosen for mulching purposes. By covering any exposed sections of earth, these rocks help the soil of your garden retain moisture during hot weather and also prevent weeds from growing freely. However, they do not provide extra nutrients for your flower garden since rock does not rot.
Pine needle mulch
Often sold as 'pine straw', mulches made from dried pine needles are a particularly common sight on golf courses and provide thorough coverage and excellent water retention. Pine straw also contains oils that can help inhibit the growth of weeds as the needles rot and break down; however, these oils will also make the soil of your garden more acidic, so you should make sure not to use them on gardens containing flowers that grow best in alkaline or neutral soils.
Cocoa hull mulch
Made from the dried hulls of cocoa beans, cocoa hull mulch provides similar benefits to wood and bark chip mulch but with a more distinctive appearance that is particularly good at complementing tropical flowers. Cocoa hulls can become mouldy during humid weather, but this mould will not harm your flowers and can be effectively killed off with a weak vinegar solution.
An ideal choice for coastal gardens, seashells (either whole or crushed) are a wonderfully attractive choice of mulch and help to retain moisture and suppress weed growth in much the same way as rock and stone mulch. While covering larger gardens in seashell mulch can be prohibitively expensive, it is ideal for mulching smaller plots and raised beds, and it is considerably easier to lay down than rock and stone mulch.