This method of wood chip mulching is based on the no-till "Back to Eden" garden method, as taught by Paul Gautschi, a renowned arborist. (http://barbolian.com/permaculture-by-nature/) It both builds the soil and avoids too much soil disturbance. RIGC Landscape committee members have seen the benefits for our perimeter beds as plant growth and soil health have been enhanced. The need for weeding has been reduced in areas where we followed these instructions. The attached document below provides further instructions and careful reasoning for the specifics.
Other kinds of garden care methods include plants as mulch which espouse close plantings methods such as in our own Rose Garden by Marjorie Marcallino and in some of our award winning gardens by Julie Lipp and Elizabeth Bolden. This article and interview of Claudia West from Margaret Roach at A Way To Garden explains these ideas further.