This time of year I spend a good two weeks working on cleaning out all my old dead plants and cleaning out the garden beds. I use some unusual tools, but they all make the job a lot easier.
One garden tool which makes quick work of an area is the hedge trimmer. Just set it on the ground and wave it back and forth and you will quickly have all your old plants neatly trimmed. All you need to do then is rake out the debris. Obviously this won’t work on those thick butterfly bushes, but for 90% of my garden, this is a quick fix. My second step is to go over the area with a lawn trimmer to clean up some of the old leaves and then I finish with a leaf blower to to blow out all the debris.