Easy method of cutting back dead perennials...and some chickens

After a pleasant evening with friends on New Year’s Eve, I spent several hours outside on New Year’s Day working in the garden.  I tried to move the chickens to a new spot, but they didn’t follow me and enjoyed a day of freedom destroying my flowerbeds. The chickens follow me around the yard trying to see if my activities will produce food.  If I’m digging, I have to watch out for them to avoid injuring one.
Curious chickens!

I realized that I can use a string trimmer to trim back dead plants rapidly.  Below is the pre-trimmed flower bed.
Five minutes later, pictured below, the bed is cut back.  The string trimmer pulverizes most of the plants into small enough pieces I don't have to remove them and I allow them to compost in place.  I'll put some dead leaves or mulch on top, and the bed will be ready for spring.

I got a little too close to this rosebush with the trimmer and I'll have to cut back the mangled branches.  I also recommend staying away from stringy plants; the trimmer tears them and they become wrapped around the head of the string trimmer.