Here's what the garden looked like before. I don't do a lot of clean up in the fall because I am usually busy enjoying the fall weather hiking, biking, camping, BBQing, and generally having fun with my family. Fall is my favorite season. Dry and cool.
Plus, I hate seeing my garden so bare during the winter, and the birds still use the plant material for food all winter long. THAT'S IT! I do it for the birds! Yeah, I'm not unconcerned for my garden, I'm concerned for the birds.
Here's what my garden looked like after about three hours of work. I still have a lot to do, but the ground is still too frozen to weed; we could only do surface cleaning.
"Did it just get brighter, or is it because all the sunflowers are gone?" my husband commented after we were finished. It may not look it in the picture, but we really got rid of a lot of junk.
This is the earliest that I have been able to get out for spring clean up in a very long time. It feels so good to have so much of it taken care of!