Losing a partner who you’ve built your entire life with, is really a nightmare. But this story shows that something good can come out of grief as well as to honor the memory of the late partner.
For Winston Howes and Janet it was love at first sight. They would soon become a couple and got married in 1962. They moved into a lovely farmhouse on 112 acres in the English countryside shortly after getting married.
The couple had a beautiful baby boy, and they could not have been happier. Their son was healthy and their farm flourished.
Even as the years passed, their relationship was strong and they were the perfect couple most people dream of.
But their happiness didn’t last forever. After 33 years of marriage, Janet died of a heart attack at the age of 50.
Winston was devastated by this loss. And to pay homage to his beloved wife, Winston planted 6,000 oak trees in a field near the home the couple had shared for so many years.
“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,” Winston told Daily Mail.
But what makes Winston’s idea so special is what he concealed inside the forest—a heart-shaped huge meadow inside a he-made forest—a testimony of his undying love for Janet.
In addition, Winston also built a hedge around it, too, and every spring, daffodils bloom in the center.
He hoped that this would be a beautiful, sacred place that would be both a natural shrine for his wife and a place for him and his son to relax and visit on difficult days.
Winston’s beautiful memorial was his very own secret garden for years. It wasn’t until 2012, this secret was discovered by a hot air balloonist, Andy Collett, who flew over their farm home and saw the heart from the sky.