I'm constantly presented with the question of which is better for your garden: mulch or stone? So, I thought I'd put together a list of the pros and cons for both so that you can decide which would be best for you.
* Both retain moisture in the soil
* Both help keep a cool temperature for your plants
* Both help reduce weeds when installed properly - each should be installed at a depth of at least 3" to be effective
* Both are safe for pets and children
Although my neighbors were concerned when I first had a pile of mulch delivered on my driveway - worried I would attract termites to the neighborhood - the only way termites would be a problem is if I didn't get my mulch from a reputable distributor and termites already existed in the mulch. While mulch does attract beneficial insects and pollinators to your plants, it will only cause harm if your supplier is infected. Carefully choosing a reputable landscape supplier is important. Mulch does also attract some fungus that will not necessarily harm your plants, but will be unattractive to your landscape. A fire could also present a problem as mulch can be flammable.
The benefit of mulch is that it breaks down over time providing your plants with nutrients that will help them grow and make a more attractive garden.
Stone is a much lower maintenance and comes in a large variety of colors. It does not need to be replaced as often as mulch, and it is a more permanent solution. The color and type of stone chosen can be an attractive addition to your landscape. Stone is also fire resistant and stays in place during wind and rain. When there is no compaction, water will flow freely through the stone to your plants' roots.
So, basically it comes down to preference ... which look do you prefer?