Stories by the Riverside
Sunday 19 August, 2.00 to 4.30 p.m.

The Getting Reading reading team are joining the Friends for another afternoon of stories and crafts for young book-lovers.  Further details will follow.

Friends 2018 Summer Party
Sunday 2 September, 2.00 to 5.00 p.m.

The Friends of Reading Abbey, Friends of Reading Museum and The Friends of Caversham Court Gardens hold their summer party on the first Sunday of September. Come and join us in the newly restored Reading Abbey Ruins. An afternoon of family fun, live music, refreshments and much more.

First Sundays of the Month
Sunday 1 July
Sunday 5 August
Sunday 2 September

Volunteers will be at the Gardens from 2.30 to 4.30 p.m. on each of the above dates to talk to visitors about Caversham Court Gardens and the work of the Friends.  They will also offer informal guided tours of the Gardens.

Star Plants of the Month

June sees the nodding flower heads of columbines (Aquilegia) in the western flower border.  Native columbines have blue flowers but plant breeders have developed varieties with a wide range of flower colour.  Within the border you will see some lovely examples of lemon coloured flowers and several bi-coloured ones.  The columbines are always at their best in June when the bonnet shaped flowers so loved by bees last for 4-5 weeks.  These plants are self-seeding so a single plant will give rise to many progeny in a garden over time.

If you look up into the foliage of the large tulip tree near the tea kiosk you will now see the orange-green tulip-like flowers which give the tree its common name.  The tulip tree (Liriodendron) is a native of the east coast of North America.

A single tulip tree flower

The tree is sometimes referred to as canoe wood in America. This is because in the past it was used for the construction of dugout canoes by Eastern North Americans, for which its fine grain and large trunk size was eminently suited.

The following events are scheduled in the gardens over the next few months:-

Yoga in the Park
Saturday 30 June and Tuesday 31 July
e-mail to find out more.

Sisata Theatre
 - Frankenstein
Monday 11 June at 6.30 p.m.
Find out more at

Heartbreak Productions
---- Pride and Prejudice
Saturday 16 June at 6.30 p.m.

----- The Midnight Gang
Saturday 23 June at 6.30 p.m.

Find out more at https://tickets.heartbreak
Reading Arts Box Office 0118 960 6060

Little Blue Monster Productions
Pirate Pearl and the Big Blue Monster
Saturday 7 July at 5.30 p.m.
Box Office 0330 133 1063

St Peter's Church Fete
Saturday 14 July at 1.00 p.m.
This is a traditional fete combining refreshments, stalls and sideshows, children races and a kids zone.

Stalls will be selling everything from cakes, books, plants and bric-a-brac to crafts, jams and preserves.

Cult Screens - Open Air Cinema
Cult Screens cinema screenings are back in the gardens this summer.
Check their website for details:-


Storytelling in Caversham Court Garden

The Friends got together with Get Reading, Reading for an afternoon of storytelling and creative crafts as part of the Reading Children's Festival.  Children were able to explore the beautiful riverside gardens on a trail featuring their favourite storybook characters.  Storyteller Anne Latto narrated tales of wonder in the mysterious undercroft overlooking the river.  There were books to read and stories to hear on the river bank and under the trees.  The children made enchanting birds in the vinery with Hester and joined Jenny weaving magic around the mulberry tree!  The Tea Kiosk served hot and cold drinks and home-made cake


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.