By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was like seeing Santa at a Fourth of July party. Windowboxes and planters decorated for the holidays that had been buried under snow for the past two months – by the time the meltdown finally came last week, nothing could look more out of place than boughs of holly and evergreens!

Going out to remove the ghosts of Christmas past, I found that despite warm temperatures that day, the branches (which I’d stuck deeply into warm soil back at Thanksgiving) were still frozen in their pots and I couldn’t yank them out! Determined to get rid of those out-of-season displays, I reached for loppers and pruners and gleefully whacked the branches down to the soil line below the pot edges so they don’t show.

It’s a start. Empty pots look nice and clean and much better than sad decorations months past their expiration date. Empty pots are promising – as soon as the soil warms, they can be filled with pansies or primroses when they start showing up in nurseries…or maybe I’ll carry some home from the Flower Show.