By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Maybe you don’t want to dead-head or clean up everything in your garden after all. That’s okay. Some plants look lovely for a long time after they bloom.

Alliums, for example, dry to a tan color and their strong stems often hold them up for weeks to come – but even when they bend and bow, they can still be pretty ornaments in your garden. The dried round flower heads look like design elements you might buy as garden decorations, but if you grow alliums – or hydrangeas or any number of other plants whose flower heads dry in a pleasing way – these attractive accents are free.

So, while letting certain dead stuff hang around in your garden can just be messy, ugly and even unsanitary in the case of diseased leaves, there’s a difference between just leaving everything untidy and carefully cultivating what to keep as the seasons go by. A faded flower head can be almost as attractive at the end of summer as it was in early spring; if not nearly as colorful.

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