Mulch has to be the daddy of all sustainable surfaces — so natural that it could have come from your own backyard (and if you got the chips from tree trimming, perhaps it did). It's biodegradable, low in embodied energy, beneficial for the soil and plants, attractive to look at, fragrant, pervious to water, and good at keeping the weeds down and the roots of your plants happy. Mulch is a great surface for informal areas, and it's cheap as anything you can imagine. It's simple to install, too: just dump it and rake it around.
Mulch isn't the best for putting chairs on, as the legs can sink into moist soil, and it isn't so great for handicapped access. Also remember that because it slowly decomposes, adding valuable organic matter and nutrients to your soil, mulch gets thinner over time. So you have to top it off with a new layer every couple of years.
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How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.