British farmer Winston Howes lost his wife Janet 17 years ago, but the lasting tribute that he created in her honor is only now coming to light. Last week, a hot air balloonist happened to be drifting over the Howes farm when he snapped the photo seen here. That image revealed a heart-shaped meadow that Winston has lovingly crafted over the years as a reminder of the love of his life.
The 70-year-old Howes says he came up with the idea of the meadow not long after Janet’s death. He tells the U.K.’s Daily Mail that it was a “flash of inspiration” and he soon went to work planting small oak trees – thousands of them. Over time, those saplings grew into tall, strong trees, creating a tranquil refuge in the process.
The living tribute to his wife spreads out across six acres of farmland and is bordered on all sides by a tall hedge. From the road, it appears to be little more than a large copse of trees, but when viewed from overhead, its secret is revealed. The heart is distinct and cleverly formed from all of those carefully planted trees. Access to the interior of the grove can only be gained by following a narrow trail that leads to the tip of the heart. That same tip points directly toward Wotton Hill – Janet’s hometown.
Winston says that he likes to go and sit in the meadow from time-to-time and just think about things. I’m sure it has been a source of quiet comfort to him over the years but now that the word is out, he may just see a few more balloons in the sky overhead.
[Photo credit: Adam Gray/SWNS.com]