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.

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

Saturday 2 March, 10.00 a.m to noon,
The Griffin, Church Road, Caversham.

Existing and potential new volunteers are invited to a pre-season meeting for updates on future activities and news of the gardens. The meeting will be held on the first floor of The Griffin (no lift).  If you are able to attend please let us know on so that we can plan for the meeting. 


Volunteers will be in the gardens on the FIRST SUNDAYS of the MONTH (2.00 to 4.30 p.m.) starting on 7 April.  

They will be pleased to give guided tours of the gardens on these dates between April and  September, or possibly October, dependent on autumn weather.  If you would like a tour at a time to suit yourself, your family or an organisation you belong to please contact us (
Special sensory tours for the partially sighted or hearing impaired visitors are also available on request.

This year we plan to make more of the First Sundays adding music, crafts and other activities for all the family.

Look for updates on the website and on our Facebook page :- - 181489485840/?ref=bookmarks

The charity run Tea Kiosk opens on Tuesday 26 March, the Tuesday before Mothering Sunday.  The Tea Kiosk is open from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays and on Bank Holidays but remains open until 6.00 p.m. in the summer months (June, July and August).

Saturday 20 April

There will be a nature themed Easter Trail in the gardens again this year and a reward for participating children. All children must be accompanied by an adult. The event is free but donations will be very welcome.

Further details shortly.

FRIENDS A.G.M., 2019
Wednesday 24 April, 7.00 for 7.30 p.m., Reading Canoe Club, The Warren, Caversham.

Our speaker this year will be Ben Viljoen of the Berkshire Gardens Trust who will talk about the great landscape gardener Humphrey Repton with reference to Repton's work in Berkshire.  All are welcome.

Saturday 11 May, 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m., Abbey Gateway, Reading.

The Friends are getting together with CADRA to mark the 800th anniversary of the death of one of Caversham's most illustrious residents, William Marshal.

The Friends produced an exhibition in 2015 to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta which only survived thanks to William Marshal's intervention as Regent for King Henry III.  Marshal died on 14 May 1219 at his manor house in Caversham having ruled England from there for the last months of his life.

The Friends exhibition will be shown in the Abbey Gateway and later, in our Gardens, for the Heritage Open Days in September.

There is more on William Marshal on the CADRA website under Local History.


At this time of the year commuters walking through the gardens on their way to work will detect perfume emitted by some of our winter flowering plants in The Gallery and Winter Garden alongside the steps leading into the gardens from the parish church. Amongst these are sweet box the small white flowers of which produce a strong and pleasant perfume especially in sunny weather whilst Daphne has scented pink flowers also in February (see below)


Green Flag Award

The Friends are pleased to announce that Caversham Court Gardens has won the Green Flag and Green Heritage Site 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.

Britain in Bloom

Reading won a silver gilt award in the Thames and Chilterns Region competition of Britain in Bloom. Reading also won a silver gilt award in the 'city' class of the national competition this year. The class was won by Aberdeen whilst the overall title Champion of Champions was secured by the city of Truro. 

The Friends contributed to Reading's entry in both competitions by funding the superb border of coleus and begonias in the vinery and by 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 they were 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 has recently been on display in Caversham Library.