By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – OK, just dump it right there! While some gardeners clear out dead perennials in the fall, others like me leave them in the garden. The seedpods make music in the winter wind, seeds in flowerheads feed the birds, and the stalks and stems collect the snow in pretty ways while offering shelter to cute critters on stormy days. But by last week, I was running out of places to put all the snow, so I started piling it onto the remains of last year’s perennials.

As long as there’s not salt mixed in with it, shoveling snow onto your lawn and into garden beds is a good idea. As it gets warmer and the snow melts away, the water will be absorbed slowly into the soil instead of flooding down the streets.

And while the dried flower stems are snapping under the weight of the snow, by now I’m ready for them to go. Plus, once the snow is all melted away, those flattened stems will make it easy to rake the beds clean, so we can see when the first shoots of spring start to peek through.

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