The eternal optimist, I can envision beds of beautiful flowers, vines twining perfectly up the side of the shed, bushes the exact size for the spot, apples without a spot, and the garden full of bright red tomatoes from summer to frost.
Aw, yes, winter dreaming is a good time for the gardener.
If you have a moment, it's a good time to sort out what worked and what didn't. Don't be harsh on yourself, you are always at the mercy of "mother nature."
Sort your gardening pictures and save the best for the records or journal (either on paper or computer.)
It's a good time to bring the garden journal up-to-date with notes on plant performance. Once I retired, I finally made the time to document and journal my plants. It's been fun and informative.
I admit I tend to "over organize"; it's my thing and I enjoy organizing. I keep both paper and computer documentation. There are times when it's handy to take a paper copy about a certain plant with me to the garden or nursery.
The computer documentation is an excellent place to store pictures. It's cheaper than developing my many photos of a beautiful plant today, tomorrow and often. It's easy to use, to store, and to access. It enables posting pictures to my garden blog, to a friend, or to enter a contest.
I have a PC program to document each plant. It has a place for the common & Latin name, the date, place and cost of purchase, a place for the picture and all the information regarding the plant. I then record where it's planted. On the back of each is a sheet for recording the yearly data (bloom times, problems, notes to myself about moving, and etc.)
It's interesting to watch the growth of trees and other perennials plants. Did I really get the Canadian hemlock ten years ago and could it have grown six feet?
If you plant lots and often, it can help you realize the mortality rate of certain nurseries' products. Does one have a certain trend for surviving where another seems not worth the money because of overall loss?
Have you planted a certain perennial for the last three years? You have loved it each year when you walked through the nursery in the spring not realizing you thought that three years in a row and still don't have a surviving specimen. This allows you to save money and as importantly, it allows you to analyze if this plant is simply wrong for your growing circumstances.
Another great winter past time is sitting with a cup of hot chocolate and reading a new plant catalog. Chocolate and garden pictures, it's a good thing!
Check out your local public library for garden books.
Garden journaling can start with a simple notebook or can be as involved as a PC program that includes a garden template for diagramming your beds and plants.
The bottom line for winter gardening is to enjoy yourself at a time when no muscle or worry is needed. Maybe the most valuable thing about a winter garden is the chance to ponder without the guilt that something needs to be plucked.