February 11, 2013

The Heart-shaped Meadow: A Love Story


A marriage of 33 years ended suddenly when 50 year old Janet Howes died of heart failure. Her husband Winston came up with a unique idea to memorialize his love for her. A living, loving tribute.

He got busy planting hundreds of oak trees, and over a week’s time, filled a 6-acre area of his 112-acre farm in South Gloucestershire, England. In the center, he left a heart-shaped area, and then outlined it with a hedge. He added a bench so he could sit, relax, and reflect back on their years together. Daffodil bulbs were planted in the center to provide a burst of beauty in the spring.

Seventeen years later, the grown trees have provided a barrier for the private sanctuary inside. The only way to access the meadow, which is 1 acre in size, is by a path that connects to the tip of the heart. This tip points in the direction of the town of Janet’s birth.

The meadow can’t be seen by the road. In fact, only family members were aware of its existence, until a hot air balloon pilot flew over, and understandably delighted with this find, took pictures from above. Winston, now age 70, recently flew over to see it for himself.  

Andy Collett / SWNS


Janet & Winston Howes

Oh, the romance! Such a story to pass along to future generations!

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