The most popular mulch today is black dye hardwood; brown is second. Mulch does not stop all weeds. Obviously one get the best results if you kill any weeds first, removed them, and put then put down a chemical barrier such as Preen before putting down the mulch. If you want a clean look, make sure the beds are edged first. If one doesn't edge, the job is obviously less time consuming and cheaper. If you don't edge, then you have mulch running into your lawn. Established landscapers will edge. If you get a cheap quote, ask about the [prep work.