Leaving the garden to die down naturally in the Autumn, rather than cutting it back (as a good gardener should), seems to have worked in my favour this year. All the dead leaves and foliage have provided a mulch across the borders, and protected the dormant plants against the un-customary snow.
When I started clearing it all away, I found fresh new shoots forcing their way up, and whole new plants under a pile of a large clematis which fell off the fence, and 15 salvageable strawberry plants (I'd given them all up for dead), and bulbs growing all over the place.
Spring is most definitely sprung.
Before (this is only a bit of a garden, I did the rest too!):
The resulting waste for the compost collection (I climbed into these bags and jumped on them to thoroughly squash everything down, so as to fit more in.):