Janet was Winston Howes’s love of life.
In fact, it was love at first sight for the twin souls, which has strengthened with each passing day.
The couple got married in 1962 and loved each other unconditionally.
Their love was so strong that people in the community asked them how they stayed so happy after so many years together.
But their love didn’t last forever. After 33 years of marriage, Janet died of a heart attack.
After they got married in 1962, Winston and Janet moved into a lovely farm spread over an area of 455 acres.
Janet gave birth to their first son soon after, and over the years the two had a relationship that others can only dream of.
Their relationship was strong and stable, their son was healthy and their farm flourished. Life was perfect in Wickwar, Gloucestershire, the place where Winston and Janet’s dream house have been for more than three decades.
But things were about to change.
In 1995 Janet died suddenly when she suffered a heart attack at age 50.
Winston was broken and his entire world collapsed. The love of his life was gone.
To honor the memory of his beloved wife, Winston planted 6,000 oak trees in a field near the house where they lived all these years.
Winston wanted to create a private and holy place where he and his son could visit in difficult times. So Winston started planting trees – lots of trees.
But what makes Winston’s tribute so special is what he hid inside the forest – an open heart-shaped field.
His beautiful declaration of love was kept secret from the world for 17 years. Winston achieved his goal, but the real motivation behind the work remained secret, hidden among all the trees.
In 2012 Winston’s secret was finally revealed when a man named Andy Colette was high in the sky in a hot air balloon. He looked down and saw the shape of a heart.
Winston’s beautiful tribute was his secret garden for many years until Andy saw it by accident from above.
“You can imagine this love story, I have a balloon of my own and I fly with it often, but it was an amazing sight I’ve never seen before”, Andy said.
The edge of Winston Howes’s heart is pointing toward Janet’s childhood home.
Winston also planted a hedge around and every spring the daffodils bloom.
“I thought it was a wonderful idea – I was inspired – and planted a few thousand oak trees, and as soon as we finished, we put a chair in the field, which looks up on the hill near where she grew up”, Winston said.
Winston said that sometimes he walks to the heart shaped field and remembers the beautiful moments he had with Janet.
“It’s a nice tribute that will stay here for many years”, he said.
Nothing would bring Janet back to life, but Winston can be sure she would have loved the heart-shaped field he made for her.
And we have the feeling that heaven is very similar to the place he prepared for his beloved wife …
Losing a dear person, especially a husband or wife with whom you have built life, is the hardest thing. But this story shows that sometimes good things come out of a tragedy.