Answer: Based on your description it is very difficult to tell you what the plants are specifically and without knowing that it is difficult to tell you how to care for them. However, if the stems are dried out and brittle and snap in your hand, are brown or gray and have no green inside them, then they can be safely trimmed off. Then you should expect to see new growth from the base if they are a perennial. Perhaps a gardening neighbor could help you identify them, or you could take a photo or two to the garden center and ask them for help. Best of luck with your new garden!
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