I walked around the garden yesterday and realized how lazy I was in the fall. While I cleaned up leaves, there is still a lot of last year's garden remaining. All my anemones are still there, the asters, and the sedums, and they all need to be cut back to the ground. I did cut back all the daisies and purple coneflowers, peonies, yarrow and baptisia, and anything that was blackened by the frost or mildew. I don't think it really matters in the long run--some people just like to clean up the garden and make it nice and tidy before winter (that's usually me) and others like to leave the garden intact for the birds to enjoy and for some winter interest. I kind of like leaving it--it was nice this winter to see the seed heads of the sedums and the movement of the other perennials.
My little herb and lavender corner looks pretty good. Will need to cut back the lavenders in early March.
I cut back most of my peonies, but missed this one, peony ring and all. That's a big no-no in the garden, because of peony botrytis, which I have had to deal with in the past. Oh well, I'll have to spray with fungicide again this spring.
And here is my beautiful tree peony in winter. You can see how I have staked it and tied it up to make it stand taller and less sprawly.
We had a lovely little snowfall last night, but the sun is out this morning and it definitely feels like spring isn't far away. The days are getting a little longer, 10 hours and 44 minutes today from sunrise to sunset, 2 minutes longer than yesterday (timeanddate.com). I know we could get some wintery weather, but my thoughts are definitely turning to spring. I have started looking through my garden journal again, and reading articles in the newspaper about seed starting. The daffodil shoots are coming up, I have seen some snowdrops, you know my hellebores are blooming, and my neighbor's crocus are starting to make an appearance. Now we'll get snow for sure!