A good excuse not to clean
Updated: Nov 1, 2022
Good news! Now you have an excuse not to clean! In the garden, that is. Don't clean up at the end of the season. Leave the seed heads and stems until next season. The seed heads provide a valuable source of food for songbirds. As you can see in the photo, birds have already been eating the Echinacea purpurea, Purple Coneflower, seeds. The stems are used by native bees to nest in next spring. I personally wait until the plants start to bloom again before doing any trimming, if at all. Leave the leaves on the ground. Many caterpillars and other insects winter over in the leaves. The decaying leaves also add vital nutrients to the soil. Being neat and tidy in a native plant garden is actually counterproductive to the reasons for planting one.
Now for the bad news. You'll still have to wash those dishes in the kitchen sink.