A few weeks ago we posted about an awesome forest shaped like a guitar that had been planted by an Argentinian farmer in memory of his late wife. Today we discovered another monumental symbol of love expressed with trees:
Unless you happen to be passing overhead, you’d never know that the rolling Gloucestershire countryside has been keeping a very romantic secret for the past 17 years. Mr. Winston Howes, owner of a 112-acre farm near Wickwar, Gloucestershire, married his wife Janet in 1962. In 1995, after Janet’s sudden death due to heart failure at the age of 50, Winston decided to create a lasting tribute to his lost love. He planted thousands of oak saplings in a six-acre field right beside his farmouse, leaving an open heart-shaped area in the middle, the point of which faces Janet’s childhood home.
The trees have since grown into a lovely forest all their own and the heart into a mature meadow. What makes the heart-shaped meadow even sweeter is that it cannot be seen from the ground. The secret heart is only accessible via a trail that leads up to its tip.
Mr Howes, 70, 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. Once it was completed we put a seat in the field, overlooking the hill near where she used to live. I sometimes go down there, just to sit and think about things. It is a lovely and lasting tribute to her which will be here for years.’
‘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. We plant daffodils in the middle that come up in the spring – it looks great. I go out there from time to time and sit in the seat I created.’
The heart remained a family secret until it was unintentionally discovered by a hot air balloonist, Andy Collett, 42, from nearby Wotton-Under-Edge, who was recently passing overhead:
Andy said: ‘I have my own balloon and am quite a regular flyer, but this was the most amazing sight I have ever seen from the sky. It was a perfect heart hidden away from view – you would not know it was there. You can just imagine the love story.’
Photos by Adam Gray
Visit Dailymail.co.uk to view more of Adam Gray’s photos of Winston Howes’ secret and enduring tribute to his late wife.
[via Super Punch, Guardian.co.uk, and Dailymail.co.uk]