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Did you hear about the British farmer Winston Howes who planted 6,000 oak trees as a tribute to his suddenly deceased wife (they were married for 33 years). The special thing about the forest is that there is an opening in the middle, shaped like a heart. The heart has a hedge as an edging and the middle is filled with daffodils that bloom in spring every year.

The heart is only visible from above – a hot air balloonist discovered the tribute while floating above one day. The farmer already knew it was there but wasn’t publicising the fact 😉

What a lovely man 😍

Well that heart got me ponderating and inspired me to create my own field art (if we can call it that). I love the colour red and I love flowering trees and shrubs that encourage wild birds to visit in the garden.

So I decided to plant a red balloon on a string!

I haven’t got the energy to be planting 6,000 oak trees (and I don’t live in the UK or have a beloved dead wife) so I settled on a ring of low growing bottlebrush (Callistemon) shrubs called ‘Little John’ – these shrubs have delightful red flowers that look like bottlebrushes; and the native birds can’t get enough of the nectar.

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red balloon (circle of Little John Callistemon’s)

Now, we already had a wavy line of plants extending out into a field, so I thought that would do for the string to hold the balloon (just added a few more shrubs at the end to extend the line).

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String that stops the red balloon from floating away 😎

My meticulous husband Andy the Great drew a perfect circle on the ground using a peg with a string line and a can of paint.

Then I planted a circle of Little John’s (and I will plant more when I get my breath back).

Whether or not it looks like a balloon from above will remain to be seen 😉 But it will make a nice ‘room’ in the garden in which to sit. I will be putting a bench seat for two in the middle.

I might even add a few more balloons – maybe yellow or purple. I will take some ‘after’ photos in a few years so you can see how it all panned out.

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ps. you can see solar lights next to the plants – I have put them there so the aliens know where to land.

10 thoughts on “Hearts and Red Balloons

  1. Hi Gabrielle. Winston’s beautiful tribute to his wife touched my heart. Yes, he is definitely a lovely and loving man. Love your balloon idea. I look forward to update photos. Love the string so the balloon doesn’t fly away.

  2. The only true test will be if we get a hotair balloon and fly over…hmm…by the time I save enought money to get there you should be safte to replant if necessary…love the idea! 🙂

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