Winston Howes (70) spent a week planting each oak sapling after his wife of 33 years Janet died suddenly 17 years ago. He laid out the fledgling trees in a six-acre field but left a perfect heart shape in the middle — with the point facing in the direction of her childhood home.
The labour of love has now blossomed into a mature meadow — a peaceful oasis where Winston can sit and remember his wife of 33 years. His meadow cannot be seen from the road and has remained a family secret until a hot air balloonist took this photograph from the air.
Howes said, “I came up with the idea of creating a heart in the clearing of the field after Janet died. I thought it was a great idea — it was a flash of inspiration — and I planted several thousand oak trees.” Howes, who owns an 112-acre farm near Wickwar, South Gloucestershire, decided to seed housewife Janet’s legacy after she died from heart failure in 1995, aged 50. The pair got married in nearby Stroud in 1962.
Howes added, “We got people in especially to do it — there are several thousand trees. We planted large oak trees around the edge of the heart then decided to put a hedge around it too. The heart points towards Wotton Hill, where Janet is from.”