Winston and Janet Hawes had a love for each other that many can only envy. They fell in love at first sight, and every day their feelings became only stronger.
The couple married in 1962, after which the newlyweds moved to a charming country house in rural England, Wyquare, Gloucestershire.
Soon, Winston and Janet had a son. Their farming prospered as well as their love. And their son grew up healthy, like a bull. Life seemed perfect!
But in an instant, everything collapsed …
After 30 years of marriage to Winston, Janet died suddenly.
The love of Winston’s life, Janet, suffered from heart failure and died when she was only 50 years old. Winston was heartbroken, and their son did not know how to continue to live without a mother.
Father and son tried to come to terms with the idea that Janet was no longer there, but the grief of loss was very painful.
Obsessed with an idea
A few months after Janet’s death, the thought came to Winston: ‘Despite the fact that he will never see his beloved wife in this world again, why not do something that would remind him of her?’
Winston began work in the field near the house – the field that Janet loved so much. The idea was to create a place where Winston and his son could come when longing for Janet climbed into their hearts.
Winston’s incredible tribute to Janet was kept under wraps for years, until a balloonist flew over the field in his hot air balloon.
One fine day, a balloonist named Andy Collette was returning home when he saw Winston’s creation. He looked down and couldn’t believe his eyes!
Over the course of several years, Winston planted thousands of trees to create a large, heart-shaped forest in his wife’s favorite field. Andy shares his feelings about the bird’s eye view of the painting in an interview with the Daily Mail:
‘I have my own balloon and fly quite often. Landscapes of incredible beauty open up from the sky, but I have never seen such a wonderful picture. I was just stunned.
I saw a beautiful, perfectly shaped heart that you would not be able to see while on the ground. One can only imagine what kind of unearthly love is behind this creation,’ says Andy.
Although Andy did not know Winston and had no idea what purpose this forest of such an unusual shape was planted for, he could only assume that behind this beauty there was a story of someone’s great love.
Winston explained why he decided to plant thousands of trees and other details related to this forest. His story touched thousands of people around the world.
‘I thought it was a great idea. Planting a few thousand oaks was a kind of inspiration. When the forest was planted, my son and I set up a bench that looks at the place where our Janet used to live,’ says Winston.
He planted huge oak trees, leaving a heart-shaped lawn, and then put up a fence around his forest. The tip of the heart points to the village where Janet grew up.
Each year, Winston also plants daffodils in the center of the heart, which bloom in the spring. The view from the sky is simply breathtaking!
‘Sometimes I go there just to think. This forest will be a wonderful reminder of Janet for years to come,’ says Winston.