Is there an alternative to spreading bark, which will keep my attempt to look like woodland area around my bench? I live in very windy area and it blows everywhere. I do not want to use stones unless dark brown ones can be found. I have a pond near bench.
Alternative to Bark
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Shredded bark, rather than bark chips, usually does okay in windy situations. There are actually stones/pebbles that can be obtained in various colors, depending on what you're looking for and I'm sure a brown color would be available too. You might even look into a low-growing ground cover and stepping stones if you want a more natural feel to the area.