Widower's secret tribute to wife, spied from above

A heart-shaped meadow in the English countryside was planted by a farmer in tribute to his late wife. Adam Gray / SWNS.com

A heart-shaped meadow in the English countryside was planted by a farmer in tribute to his late wife.
(CBS News) WICKWAR, ENGLAND - A widower's tribute to his adored wife, in the form of a heart-shaped meadow, has grown in secret in the Gloucestershire countryside, until being discovered by a hot air balloonist

The Daily Mail reports that after Winston Howes' wife Janet died 17 years ago at age 50, the farmer planted thousands of sapling oaks in a six-acre meadow in order to create a lasting memorial.

He left a heart-shaped area bare, marking the space with a large hedge. The point of the heart faces Janet's childhood home, Wotton Hill. Daffodils planted in the center of the heart push forth in spring.

The meadow is not visible at ground level, and was a family secret - until balloonist Andy Collett accidentally discovered it last week.

A 1994 photo of Winston and Janet Howes.
Adam Gray/SWNS.com
Howes, now 70, told the Mail that he came up with the idea in "a flash of inspiration," and that once it was completed (with the help of his son), he put a seat in the field.

"I sometimes go down there, just to sit and think about things," Howes told the paper. "It is a lovely and lasting tribute to her which will be here for years."

The two were married for 33 years.

Collett, the balloonist from Wotton-Under-Edge, said he couldn't believe his eyes when spied the symbol of love formed from the trees.

To read more on this story visit the Daily Mail website.

A heart-shaped meadow in the English countryside was planted by a farmer in tribute to his late wife.
Adam Gray / SWNS.com

  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at CBSNews.com and cbssundaymorning.com.

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