The Friends are holding a photography competition this year to celebrate 10 years since the refurbished gardens opened in the summer of 2009. We invite all our visitors to submit pictures which capture the spirit of the gardens through the seasons.  Closing date for entries - 31 Oct. 2019.  All entries should be sent to and identified for the Photo Competition.

Further information and rules of the competition - see Photography Competition.

Sunday 8 December, 9.30 - 13.00.

Econet will have Scots Pine Christmas trees for sale and the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust will be making decorated willow wreathes and stars and selling holly, mistletoe and pine cones.

Monday 16 December, from 18.15.

The carol service will be held on 16 December, quite early this year.  The choir of St Peter's Church will lead the singing, accompanied by the Salvation Army Band.  Mulled wine and mince pies will be sold from the Tea Kiosk from 18.15.  The bells of St Peter's Church will ring out at 19.15 and singing led by the church choir will begin at 19.30.

Sunday 2 June
A successful fundraising day was held in the Gardens organised by 'Made in Caversham'
The event was well supported by visitors, the 'Friends' and by members of the Caversham Croquet Club. Those who participated enjoyed this tactical battle of mallet, hoops and balls re-creating a game which would have been played on the lawns of Caversham Court in its Victorian heyday.  The afternoon was enhanced by some lively music from the Abbey jazz Trio and tea and cakes available from the ever popular tea kiosk.

Sunday 1 September

Some 20 children joined volunteers led by our treasurer Hester to create a colourful collage for the garden inspired by its flowers.  A great time was had by all and the impressive end product had an important message for us 'Flowers need bees and bees need flowers

This year we have enjoyed educational visits from local schools which have used the gardens as a link to their studies of issues such as global warming, local history and architecture.

Pupils from Caversham Primary School enjoyed two days of visits in the summer to consider the importance of our trees in mitigating the effects of aerial pollution and some of the harmful effects of climate change.


More recently children from St Martin's Catholic Primary School, Caversham visited to enjoy a session with Gemma Solanellas designed as a practical approach to learn and have fun through heritage with hands on activities.  The pupils
enjoyed hearing about the gardens and their buildings, past and present, and were encouraged to observe, draw and erect a model from cards showing architectural features of the 17th century gazebo.

THE GARDENS THIS MONTH   As temperatures fall many of our deciduous trees begin to show their autumn colours.  At present the best colours are seen on the black walnut, some of the pin oaks near the river and the tulip tree overhanging the churchyard wall. Elsewhere there is little floral colour but look for the purple flower heads of Liriope muscari (big blue lilyturf) and the small pink and red blooms of cyclamen in the stumpery while ferns in this area and alongside the causeway wall look magnificent again this year.  Meanwhile, the bright orange-red berries of pyracantha in the gallery garden provide a welcome food source for our feathered friends.
Big blue lilyturf (a native of China, Japan and Korea) is a perennial with grass like evergreen foliage and lilac-purple flowers (see below) which produce single-seeded berries on a spike in the autumn.  Flowers resemble those of grape hyacinth.  The roots, which often have fleshy tubers near their tip, are often used in traditional Chinese medicine.