Every year after the beautiful spring bulbs bloom and the flowers die, my husband and I have the same conversation as we garden.
My husband with scissors in hand: "Those darn dying greens are so unsightly. Let me cut them off."
My response: "No! The bulbs need those darn dying greens to produce and store energy to grow next year. Just mulch around them."
Thankfully the greens are usually spared and left to die back naturally, resulting in big spring beauties the following year.
The method to my green madness was confirmed this week as I eagerly read The Garden Year by Richard Bird. Bird affirms my belief that the tatty-looking leaves of spring bulbs are necessary to photosynthesis, one of the processes essential to producing food and storing energy for the next growing season. If the bulb does not get the opportunity to produce food and energy it dies and does not flower.
A method for minimizing the tattered look of the dying leaves is to plant the bulbs at the back of the border. As the plants surrounding the bulbs grow throughout the spring, they will naturally fill in and cover the dying leaves. You won't have to worry about an untidy look. Or someone picking up a pair of scissors and giving the bulbs an unwanted hair cut.