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The Ghosts Of Gardens Past

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Chances are your garden’s full of scary sights this week, even if you didn’t put out plastic pumpkins, skeletons and bats because, by now, much of spring and summer’s green growth has transformed into ghoulish ghosts.

Spent sunflowers with bowed heads loom like Grim Reapers over a graveyard of perishing perennials. Echinachea’s empty heads perch on stark stalks, their seeds pecked out by hoards of hungry birds. Spiders weave webs across bare branches while annuals gasp their last breath.

Yes, your garden does plenty of decorating for Halloween, but once the holiday’s past, it’s time to sweep most of this year’s garden ghosts into the compost. As you clean up, leave only those plant skeletons that will support snow in a pretty way – such as the faded flowerheads of hydrangeas – to add a little visual life to your garden during the dead of winter ahead.

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