I subscribe to the idea of cleaning up the garden in the fall, so i won't have to do it the following the spring.
Oftentimes, though, the body just doesn't keep up with what the mind has planned for it, so when the first snow falls, i notice various tall brown stems sticking out of the snow. "Hmmm," i think. The mind gets busy again, trying to bend the body to its will. "I should go out there in the freezing cold and cut those down."
A few dead plants actually look good in the winter garden. One is a tall grass, variegated green and white in summer, and now tan with a thin layer of snow. The leaves rustle gracefully in the breeze, and the seed plumes wave.
My friend Frances left her Autumn Joy sedum standing on purpose--the flowerheads retaining a bit of the maroon color. Now an inch of snow sits atop each flowerhead, making them look as if they've bloomed again, and bringing Frances winter joy.