Looking out my office window today you would not think it was winter. Plus 3C and not one flake of snow on the ground. The lawn is bright green and yellow with brown leaves mixed in. The flower beds have dried stalks of sedum, coneflower, shasta daisy, Annabelle hydrangea pom poms, some native grass and the remains of two autumn flowering clematis on their trellis. Not the prettiest site right now.
Without the snow my mind starts to imagine that spring is on its way and that there is imminent spring cleaning to do. I prefer a spring cleaning in the garden (forget the house). I have more energy and motivation to get out there and tidy while checking for new buds on branches and looking for evidence of green spikes pushing themselves out of the ground. Dead leafy debris pulls up much more easily and my secateurs are nice and sharp for when they are needed. Leftover leaves get added to the leaf pile and a first check on the compost goes without saying.
But that won't happen today. Instead today I have browsed through a seed catalogue ( I am considering planting pole beans where the tomatoes were last summer) and have decided to absolutely and positively yank out the butterfly bush that has been so disappointing. There is still plenty of time to plan for the spring and I do it over and over in my head every winter. What to remove, what to replace it with, a new bed perhaps. We want to add a flagstone patio in the first back yard behind the house. I have been planning this for a few years now, maybe this will be the year it gets done.
It is probably best to do all your thinking in the winter. You can plan out on paper or in your head and it will always look fabulous. You can never make a mistake while dreaming about your garden, only make changes.