Well known Fittleworth villager Mary Reed has died after a long battle with cancer.
Mary, 62, died in the arms of her husband Paul, at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford last Wednesday (April 25).
The couple had spent the last 15 years fundraising for charity through the opening to the public of their Pooh House gardens in Sandy Lane which Mary founded 32 years ago when she and her husband first moved to the village and renamed the house.
Pooh House gardens were formerly part of the well known Fittleworth Garden Trail and this bank holiday weekend Paul has taken the decision to reopen the gardens with the trail in Mary’s memory.
The trail raises funds for St Mary’s Church in the village where Mary will be laid to rest on Thursday 10th at 11am service at St Marys.
“The gardens will be lacking her magic and her special touches but the acers and many hidden paths that make Pooh House – eight gardens in one, a one acre wonderland – are spectacular this year. As long as visitors don’t mind not having quite the ‘polish’ of previous years the magical spring panoply of all shades of greens might just be enough.”
He added: “Mary who was always inclusive and always wanting to help others and opening as part of the annual Fittleworth Garden Trail this bank holiday (Sunday and Monday until 6pm) is a way of celebrating her extraordinary life
“To miss this unique window before Mary is laid to rest at the 14th century St Mary’s Church, a week later would be a terrible shame, Mary, who always had a positive approach and love of life would want this for sure.
“She was a first in many respects and the garden openings were always about the children and to help others enjoy and find peace. The gardens were established to create a wonderland that both adults and children could equally enjoy.”.
The couple raised thousands of pounds for charities including the Chestnut Tree Children’s’ Hospice.
Mary was also involved with Fittleworth Youth Club and the village playgroup.