Newspapers: We use newspapers (minus the glossy/slick ads) in our garden as stepping stones. If you have a low spot that always gets muddy, you can put down a layered section. Water them and it stays in place. It helps to keep the weeds down too.
If you decide to plant something there after all, just pick up the pile, or better yet, slice a round hole in the paper, put the plant in the hole and leave the rest for mulch.
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