Christmas Carols at Caversham Court Gardens
Monday 17 December

The Salvation Army band and St Peter's Church choir will lead the singing in the floodlit gardens which will be open from 6.15 p.m. for mulled wine and mince pies from the Tea Kiosk. Singing of carols is to start at 7.30 p.m.  All are welcome for this community event.

Friends A.G.M., 2019
Wednesday 24 April 2019

The A.G.M. will be held at Reading Canoe Club, The Warren, Caversham.  Details of the speaker and programme are to follow.

The Friends are pleased to announce that Caversham Court Gardens has won the Green Flag awards again this year. This is the ninth year the gardens have won these awards.  

The Green Flag award is awarded to parks and green spaces that are welcoming, healthy, safe and secure and are well maintained.  Green Heritage Site status aims to promote the value of and best practices in the care and upkeep of historic sites.


Volunteer Party
Volunteers met on the evening of 31 July for an informal party in the Gardens organised by Hester Casey.  Guest of honour was Rodney Oliver who was a trustee of the Gazebo Trust responsible for saving that building.  The renovated gazebo is a much loved feature of the gardens.  Rodney described the valuable work done by the trust to ensure its preservation.  Our gazebo is the only one on the River Thames that provides public access.

Friends Summer Party

Three Friends groups held their summer party in Reading Abbey Ruins on Sunday 2 September.  The event was organised by the Friends of Reading Abbey, the Friends of Reading Museum and the Friends of Caversham Court Gardens.  The party was held in the Dormitory area of the newly conserved Abbey Ruins under clear blue skies. The event was opened by the Mayor of Reading, Councillor Debs Edwards and featured refreshments and family activities to the accompaniment of live music from the Pangbourne Silver Band, the Shinfield Shambles Morris Group and the Rock Choir.  The afternoon was a great success and enjoyed by a large crowd.

Britain in Bloom
Reading won a silver gilt award in the Thames and Chilterns Region competition of Britain in Bloom. The town's result for the national finals will be announced on 19 October.  

The Friends contributed to Reading's entry in both competitions by funding the superb border of coleus and begonias in the vinery and running a project for children who planted up an old wheelbarrow. The judges were impressed with the vinery and the stumpery funded by the Friends as well as the children's efforts when judging the gardens in the summer.

Heritage Open  Days
This years theme focussed on suffragettes to mark the century of women gaining the vote.  Volunteer guides offered guided tours of the gardens on 8 and 9 of September and, in the gazebo, displayed a small exhibit about 'inspirational women of Caversham'.  This exhibition is now on display in Caversham Library.

As autumn weather arrives the asters provide a lovely wave of colour in our herbaceous border. Their flower-heads, up to 5 cm. across, comprise lavender-blue rays and a central yellow disk.  These North American daisies provide a splash of colour as many of our trees and bushes begin to lose their leaves and autumn berries appear.



Talk at the 2018 AGM

Friends filled the large function room at Reading Canoe Club on 26 April for the 2018 AGM and to hear an illustrated talk by garden historian Kate Felus.  Based on her book, The Secret Life of the Georgian Garden the speaker revealed the story of how great landscapes were used in the eighteenth century.  The smooth turf of the parkland provided opportunities for thrilling bouts of carriage driving, the lake enabled fishing and boating with some creating mock sea battles with real canons.  Eye-catchers, often on high ground, were used for eating, drinking, afternoon naps and illicit liaisons.  The talk was both entertaining and lavishly illustrated.

Christmas Carols at Caversham Court Gardens

The choir of St Peter's Church led the singing for an evening of traditional Christmas carols in Caversham Court Gardens on 18 December.  Members of the Reading Central Salvation Army Band joined us for an enjoyable evening of festive music.  The event was organised by one of our volunteers Linda Humphreys-Evans, the evening MC.

We were delighted to welcome 600 people to the floodlit gardens and thank them for their donations to the gardens.  Thanks also for the support of Phillip Baker Property, Purple Turtle, Lax Events and Reading Borough Council.