Now that we’re into the season of dry, relentless
For areas of flowers or ground cover, mulch should be applied up to 2 inches deep (after settling), but should not come in contact with any plant stems. Any unwanted plants that grow through the mulch layer can easily be pulled out by hand.
Avoid any "colored mulch". Ground-up wood from a wide variety of sources is dyed all sorts of strange colors. For the coloring to stick, some sort of chemical must be added - this is the sort of thing that you don't want around. Also, the chemical may stain your house, driveway etc. and colored mulches don't support the beneficial microbes your plants need. Keep in mind that mulches rarely stay in place. A "displaced" piece of red or white mulch will look very odd in your green landscape.