The purpose of all this hard work is to prepare for the spring growth. The plants will rejuvinate and bloom more heavily. Removing the leaf litter gets rid of fungus spores, insect and snail eggs in the debris and allows me to see any sprouting weeds to be pulled and maybe a tiny bulb blooming. The winter pruning also keeps the garden from getting too overgrown, which it was, and keeps the plants full rather than scraggly and leggy.
Weeding is definitely the most tedious job of gardening. I do not use pre-emergent herbicides because of my bulbs and pond so must get down low and pull them out. Doing so after the heavy rain made the job somewhat easier.
I do get some weeds in the cracks of the pavers which I hit with a shot of round-up, staying well away from the pond, this gets done several times in the spring usually.
The cats have enjoyed hanging out with me during this process and finding out what is below the old growth. They now have much more room to play. I enjoy seeing the edges of the pond again and the new look.
I don't always get to such a heavy clean-up but it really helps the garden when I do. All I have left to do is the fruit trees and climbers on the arbors. Remember to spray your deciduous fruit trees with dormant oil spray right before the flower buds begin to open.
Now for a little rest sitting doing landscape plans!