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Man creates garden of scented flowers to make his blind wife smile again

By Oona McGee, RocketNews24

An elderly couple have turned their sad future around with the beauty of flowers and now thousands of people visit them when their garden blooms each year.

In Shintomi Town in Miyazaki Prefecture, there’s a beautiful tourist spot that blooms in spring with a carpet of pink flowers called "shibazakura," or moss phlox. What makes the site most unusual, however, is the fact that it’s a private residence, and the reason that up to 7,000 people visit on any given day from late March to April is not entirely because of the gorgeous flowers. It’s because of the touching love story that brought the garden into existence.

The 3.3-square-meter plot of land was once a dairy farm, becoming home to a young couple, Mr and Mrs Kuroki, after they married in 1956. Rising early, and without a day’s rest, the two tended to a herd of 60 cows on a daily basis, bringing up two children in the process and living a tough but rewarding life together on the farm, with the hope that one day, upon retirement, they would be able to take a well-earned trip around Japan.

After 30 years of marriage, however, and at the age of 52, Mrs Kuroki suddenly encountered a problem with her eyes, which turned out to be a complication from diabetes, causing her sight to fail just one week later. Feeling her life was over, Mrs Kuroki was devastated at the prospect of not being able to go on the trip she and her husband had always dreamed about and didn’t want to face a life of immobility. As a result, she shut herself away from the world and began living a life of seclusion in her home. It pained her husband to see her normally cheerful expression become one of sadness, and he thought that if they could at least have a visitor or two each day, it would encourage his wife to come out of her shell.

One day, Mr Kuroki glanced upon a pink "shibazakura" flower in the garden and it occurred to him that the beauty of flowers can be experienced not only through sight but through the sense of smell as well. If he were to create a garden filled with flowers, he thought, his wife could still enjoy their beauty, and people might also come to visit, which would bring a smile to her face again.

With this in mind, Mr Kuroki spent two years creating the foundation for the garden, chopping down trees and looking after the young plants, which would eventually surround their house with a sea of bright pink flowers.

Now, more than a decade after the first seeds were planted, the well-established garden draws visitors from surrounding towns and prefectures, with people hoping for a chance encounter with Mr and Mrs Kuroki, who can often be seen walking around the property.

And if you meet Mrs Kuroki today, you’ll see that her husband has brought a huge smile back to her face, all with the help of visitors and flowers.

Spot information Kuroki-san taku no shibazakura/黒木さん宅の芝桜 Address: Miyazaki-ken, Koyu District, Shintomi, Nyuuta 17180-1 宮崎県児湯郡新富町新田17180-1 Website (Japanese)

Source: Grape

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- The not-so-fleeting beauty of the cherry blossoms: An alternate perspective -- Fukuoka’s “Wisteria Tunnel” delights visitors with pretty pastel petals -- Yoro shisetsu: Japan’s progressive joint care centers where kids and seniors interact

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Very sweet! With all the bad news these days this story is a very nice read.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Nice story.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Wonderful story !

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Magnificent story.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Such a heartwarming story :)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This story brought a smile to my face, Thankyou : )

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Reminds me of the tale about the old man who faithfully visits his dementia stricken wife in a care home.

Staff: "Why do you bother coming here day after day? She has no idea who you are anymore."

Old man: "Ahh…but I still know who she is."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

good on him

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I had a moment that this reminds me of but deals with a blind suite-mate in college. This guy became blind because of having too much oxygen in an incubator. He was not angry but told me that there were things he wished he could do that blindness would not permit like driving a car. I took him in my car way out into the countryside and put him behind the wheel with me in the passenger seat. I gave him very clear instructions on the car controls and how I was going to guide his driving experience. We drove for about 15 minutes and I have never seen such a big smile in my life. Back at the college dorm we celebrated with a bowl of some fine columbian. He finished college, married his reader then dropped off the map.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The 3.3-square-meter plot of land

That would be pretty magical if they could squeeze it in that space. I think it should be 600 tsubo (about 2000 square meters).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You sure he was not trying a new method to try to rid his garden of the dreaded Japanese Beatle? Just kidding.... good on him!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

more like 330 square meters, lovely story!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What an extremely touching story !

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sweet story, but I don´t get the "3.3-square-meter plot of land". Seriously? This sounds looks like a heck of a lot more than just 3.3 sqm.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Very nice story. I was wondering why many Japanese that I know don't want to enjoy life or even travel while they are young. Many of them say they will enjoy life when they retire, Did they get this from a book or something? I told one of my Japanese friends that when you turn 60, there will be many things you can't do and there will be things you don't want to do anymore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great story for the world to see. I hope cnn BBC afp reuters ap dpa and nhk put this on air. Sweeeeeeeeet.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Very nice story. There was a woman in England that did the same for her husband but created a fish farm instead.

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That's lovely!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh my! Happy Valentines!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Look up "love" in the dictionary; it says, "Mr. Kuroki". @clueless: True; very true.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Very heartwarming story! Thanks for the short embedded clip, and the external link to RocketNews24 as well. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. And I'd actually gone out of my way to see if I could get more longer YouTubes. Yes, this sweet-scented story really sent me to the YouTube site. And luckily I found several longer ones and watched one of them. I could not help smiling. :‑) Thanks again!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My dog just farts. Accomplishes a smile every time....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A lovely story - and a trulky nice guy. I couldn't help but think of other ways to make a woman smile...........

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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