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barkmulch pros and cons:

Pros:
Insulates the soil, keeps temperature even, holds moisture.

Cons:
Bark comes from the part of the tree designed to shed water so rain has difficulty penetrating.
It is not a complete food source - better is tree trimmings which contain the whole tree.
Aesthetically it tends to "shout," distracts from the plantings. If you look at a freshly mulched area the first thing (and maybe the only thing) you see is mulch. (I think green is a nicer color than brown).

Bark  can be sometime used as a transitional cover,  I prefer plants  and think  bark is used when you don't know what else to do. I use bark sometime while waiting for ground cover/shrubs to get established.

I like to use tree trimmins for organic gardens in Newton as it is available free.