Laugh not, gardening fans! I know it has to do with some sort of soil preparation, but I haven't ever really done any of it. I'm a bit perplexed, because I thought it might mean adding nutrients, but as they put bark over it that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
This should be solved in short order, but "mulch" is a great word and it wouldn't hurt to, uh, dig into it a little...
Oh, okay--the bark is the mulch. Mulch is a protective layer of something put on top of soil to keep it from eroding, seal in the nutrients, suppress weed growth and so on. Although bark is attractive, you can use a variety of things, like hay, compost, even things like plastic or manure. (Bark is sounding better and better.)
(The following video is not of my sisters, but, let us just say a "dramatic re-creation". Plus, it contains a gardening tip.)
To tell you the truth, I always thought that this stuff was just called ground cover.
As to its etymology, it comes from the Middle English molsh, which meant soft or moist, and goes back in turn to Old English melsc or milisc--mellow or sweet. It's related to the Dutch mals (soft), Old High German molawen (to become soft), and the German mollig (soft again). I don't really think of bark or gravel as soft, but things change.
And though this genuinely isn't intended as an advertisement for our vacation getaway, if you happen to be planning a stay on the Monterey Peninsula and are looking for a pleasant place to stay there for a few people, feel free to email me for details.
As I didn't do any of the mulching, a little plug here seems only fair....
|The front courtyard. Sadly, no mulch.|