Man Plants 6,000 Trees in Honor of His Wife: 15 Years Later, Photos Reveal Motive.

A man planted over 6,000 trees to honor his late wife, but there was much more to the story. The husband’s secret was kept under wraps for ten and a half years until a pilot passed overhead, astounded by what he saw. Aerial pictures now expose the actual inspiration of the widower.

Winston and Janet Howes, 1962 (Photo Credit: Facebook)

Winston Howes is delighted with his wife Janet. For the soul mates, it was indeed love at first sight, and every day it grew more powerful. Following their 1962 marriage, the pair settled into a lovely farmhouse on 112 acres in the English countryside, where Janet delivered their son a few short years later. Winston and Janet came to have the bond they had only dreamed of over the years.

Their relationship was great, their farm prospered, and life was perfect in their Wickwar, Gloucestershire, dream house for more than thirty years. Their son was healthy. Then, at just 50 years old, Janet suddenly suffered heart failure and passed away after 33 years of marriage. Her loss left Winston in mourning. At that, he felt his entire universe fall apart. Gone was the woman he had loved so fiercely for so long.

Winston Howes with his wife Janet in 1994 (Photo Credit: Facebook)

Winston was heartbroken and no matter what he did, Janet’s leaving seemed too much to deal with. Months following her death, Winston had an idea. He could honor his beautiful wife with a wonderful gesture of everlasting love, even though he could never bring her back. So the British farmer started working in a field close to their shared house for many years.

Winston started planting lots of trees since he wanted a private, holy place where he and his son could visit in trying circumstances. Still, his scheme had more elements than the first would have suggested. Winston had achieved his objective when his work was finished, but the actual inspiration for his work stayed hidden in plain sight among the trees. Then, fifteen years later, a hot air balloonist passed above the meadow.

Winston Howes’ memorial meadow to his late wife Janet (Photo Credit: Facebook)

Pilot Andy Collett was on his way home when he looked down and saw something startling. He had found Winston’s memorial, exposing the reason the widower had laboriously planted thousands of trees. Winston had built a forest with a clearing shaped like a heart in honor of his darling Janet. There is more, though.

According to General Knowledge & Interesting Facts, Winston’s amazing memorial was his own secret garden for years until Andy happened to cruise over the country and photograph the massive grassy emblem. Andy assumed there was a love story behind the heart, even though he had never met Winston and had no idea why it was there. “Although I fly quite regularly and have my own balloon, this was the most incredible sight I have ever seen from the heavens. You would not know it was there; it was a perfect heart buried from view. Imagine the love story, Andy told Daily Mail, explaining his feelings upon flying over the heart.

Winston Howes’ heart-shaped meadow for his late wife Janet (Photo Credit: Facebook)
The tip of Winston Howes’ heart points toward Janet’s childhood home. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
The heart that Winston Howes created stands out in the English countryside. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

“I planted several thousand oak trees; it was a fantastic concept and a flash of inspiration. Once it was finished, we placed a seat in the field, overlooking the hill close by where she used to live,” an emotional Winston said of his labor of love as he explained why he planted the trees in the 6-acre field and the minute nuances behind this heart-shaped forest and memorial meadow that moved thousands of people.

Around the edge of the heart, the green-thumbed romantic planted big oaks that suggest the village of Wotton Hill, Janet’s childhood home. He also created a hedge around it, and each spring, the center daffodils bloom. Winston would be best remembered for his tribute to his wife. “Sometimes I go down there to simply relax and consider things. He said, “It is a wonderful and enduring tribute to her which will be here for years.”

Though nothing can bring Janet back, Winston can relax knowing she will love the heart-shaped meadow created just for her, and he will be able to tell her all about it when they get back one beautiful day. Heaven seems to me to resemble the place he designed for his beloved bride quite a bit.

Losing a loved one—especially a spouse you have spent your whole life with—has to be an agony unlike anything else. Seeing one man turn that loss into something constructive guarantees that his wife will be long remembered for years to come. Tragic events can yield good things. Like Winston Howes did for the love of his life, Janet, we simply have to wipe away our tears to find it.

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