Being inexpensive, Atlantic cedar mulch and natural colored chips are ideal choices to cover large areas. Among their properties, note that cedar bark decomposes very slowly and they repel insects. Roses, among other shrubs, love cedar mulch. Mulches are superior natural insulators. They keep the soil cool during the warm months and protects against extreme temperature fluctuations thus avoiding repeated cycles of freezing and thawing in spring and fall. Moreover, they retain soil moisture and minimize evaporation and reduce the impact of rain thus protecting the soil against compaction. It gives a uniform and natural look to a planting bed.
Pine bark nuggets are available in two sizes, they are the product of shredding thick and coarse bark from southern pines. They are naturally coated with a "waxy" kind of substance which makes them more resistant to decay. From a sober brown, they decomposes down more slowly than the mulch.