Once the flower blooms and the petals fall off, if you are crazy like me, you can cut the flower stalks so that the "fruit" won't have a chance to form. That way, the energy that it would take to form the seeds will instead go into the bulb for the next year.
As for the leaves, when they are still green but start to flop over, it is okay to cut off the top half of the leaves, allowing the remaining part of the leaves to continue photosynthesizing, sending food to the bulb (a storage stem). They will stay upright for a while longer. When the leaves turn yellow, you can cut them to the base of the plant. Some people braid them (sorry to say that I once did that), twist them and tuck them under themselves, and/or bend and push them under surrounding plants. All are fine to do and you just have to decide how much labor you are willing to put in.
If you live in the Philadelphia, PA area, don't forget to stop by the Tamanend Art Show, Saturday, May 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can check out my flower paintings, Bucks County covered bridges, and beach scenes. There will be lots of other artists displaying their work, too. All art will be for sale. Refreshments will be served.
For details http://uppermoreland.patch.com/events/tamanend-park-art-show-93ba8424
Posted by Barbara Rosenzweig