Answer: Nearly any organic mulch can be used in either location with success, although in a perennial bed a finer texture and the appearance may be of more importance. Shredded hardwood bark is an attractive choice, or you could use compost or leaf mold. In a shrub bed, a longer lasting mulch with a larger texture, such as bark nuggets, may be useful. If you are trying to actively feed and build your soil, then a finer textured mulch that breaks down faster is quicker acting. In the long run, they are all beneficial.
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