The boys and I remember the beginning process well. Lois marked out the flower beds, and together she and the boys and I dug out and hauled away the Manitoba muck that permeates our yard and this whole area. This muck grabs you and won't let go when it's wet, and bakes hard when it's dry. Not good for gardens. We brought in and spread topsoil, filling in the beds, which Lois carefully shaped to give her dreams shape.
Since then she has filled the garden, mostly with perennials, carefully placed so as to bloom at different times throughout the summer. We have mosquitoes in Manitoba, and sometimes we have to compete with them to enjoy the flowers. But the garden is wonderful!
The pictures below can't convey adequately what we see in front of and behind the house. Pictures can't. (And I am quite certain that Lois would have chosen different pictures: but I wanted to show a bit of what is there.) We have extraordinary beauty, God-given, carefully tended (Lois as God's steward), constant reminder of the creation: "And God looked at what he had made and it was very good."
In Manitoba winter is for snow, and summer is for gardens. When the winter bites, and snow covers all around, we remember the summer garden. Snow lasts from mid-November (usually) to late March/early April. Close to six months of winter a year. It has its own beauty, and we have come to enjoy winter also. At the moment, we're enjoying the garden.