You may never have heard about Winston Howe before, but he is a man that is certainly worth knowing.
He was a loving husband, and the love of his life’s name was Janet. For those two soulmates, it was love at first sight and it seemed as if the love that they had together was only getting stronger on a day by day basis. In 1962, they were married and they promised they would love each other without wavering. People within the community were amazed by how strong their relationship was. They continued to have a happy marriage and stuck together for 33 years. The unfortunate thing was, the happiness didn’t last forever. Janet died of a heart attack after they were married for those 33 years and they were no longer together as husband and wife. After they married in 1962, Janet and Winston moved to a farmhouse on 112 acres in the English countryside. Janet was to give birth to a son not long after and they shared a bond that was straight out of a fairytale.
The son they had was healthy and strong and the farm was doing well. It seemed that life was perfect on the Wickwar, Gloucestershire property where they lived for more than three decades. That was about to change Janet passed away suddenly in 1995 when she had a heart attack at only 50 years old. This left Winston devastated and his entire world was suddenly turned upside down. Winston wanted to do something special in memory of his beloved wife so he planted 6000 oak trees. He did so in a field on the farm that they had shared. It was to be a private, sacred place where he and his son could go on days when times were getting difficult. Winston started to plant trees and he kept planting. It wasn’t just the fact that he planted trees that made it so special, it was something that was hidden on the inside. He had made a heart-shaped meadow in the middle of the trees.
This declaration of his love was hidden from human sight for 17 years. Winston had built the meadow just as he liked but the motivation behind it was a secret. The secret was finally discovered in 2012 when Andy Collett flew over it in a hot air balloon and saw the heart from the sky. This memory was now visible for anyone to see. “You can just imagine the love story. 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,” Andy said. The heart has a point that shows the way toward Janet’s childhood home. He also put a hedge around it and daffodils bloom in the meadow during the springtime. “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,” an emotional Winston said
Winston admits that he will still walk to the meadow to think back on that time in his life. “It is a lovely and lasting tribute to her which will be here for years,” Winston said. Although Janet is no longer in his life, he knows that she would have loved the meadow that he made for her.