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In Malaysia, mulching is still a relatively new concept, and most who have used it know the various benefits of using organic mulch such as weed control, soil moisture retention, etc. However, when it comes to using mulch as a decorative garden design feature, the idea is still so incomprehensible that most people would not know where to start.

Using wood mulch to decorate your garden space leaves a lot to the imagination, and there is no limit to the exciting landscapes that one can create. In this article, however, we will highlight to you the 3 main basic types of decorative mulch layouts that are commonly used and can be mastered by most people. We hope that when you have familiarized with these 3 mulch layout themes, you should have gained enough confidence to start your very first decorative mulch project for your garden.

For more ideas on mulch garden landscaping, please refer to our photo gallery.

In this layout theme, the mulch runs alongside a wall which could be a single linear straight line wall or L-shaped wall.

In this layout theme, the mulch takes the form of an island in the middle of a large grass or gravel patch.

In this layout theme, a ring of mulch surrounds a mature/maturing tree. Take note not to mulch too close to the trunk or it can lead to bark rot.


*** The 3 mulch layout themes are not mutually exclusive but can be combined together depending on the geography of your garden as well as your own creativity.

*** Always ensure the area that you intend to mulch is well drained and not subject to puddling or flooding. You may need to raise the soil level if the area affected by this problem.

*** In the mulched areas, you can grow individual plots or rows of ornamental plants or flowers. Whenever you need to plant something, simply open up a gap in the mulch, add your plant, and cover back up the gap with the mulch.

*** If you are mulching underneath a tree with many small leaves, we recommend you to use natural look mulch, because as the leaves fall and turn brown, it will blend with your natural mulch. But if your trees have big leaves like palm leaves, then color mulch is also a suitable choice since these leaves are easy to remove and will not cause your color mulch to look unsightly.

*** In the above mulch layout themes, we always recommend you to use a perimeter edging border to contain the mulch so that it does not migrate away. Rubber borders, garden stones, rocks, bricks, lawn edging, are all tools that can help to secure your mulch in place and keep it there for years to come.

*** You can use a extra protective base layer of newspapers or cardboard prior to laying your mulch. This is have a stronger effect to suppress weeds from popping up through your mulch. If you are not intending to grow anything on the area that you are mulching, then adding a permanent black plastic sheet (perforated) as a base layer will smother weeds to almost 100% success rate.

*** Wood mulch should be used in combination with stones, rocks, slabs, fountains, ponds or grass to create an attractive and balanced look for your garden. We advice that mulch should not exceed more than 50% of the garden area as doing so could create too much of a monotonous visual effect on your landscape.