The gates of the University of Reading’s beautiful Harris Garden were thrown open to the general public on Sunday 14th April 2019 as a fundraiser for Reading Botany 2019 celebrations.  With its beautiful borders, meadows and formal gardens and wonderful collection of trees and shrubs, including a cherry circle and walled garden, this was the perfect place to be on an, admittedly chilly, spring afternoon.  Entry was free but donations were welcomed and there were plenty of botany-themed attractions  to help visitors part with their spare change!

There were refreshments and a fabulous variety of home-made cakes, an Easter-themed garden hunt with tantalising clues hung up in trees and bushes around the garden, a raffle with a host of garden and plant-themed prizes, sunflower seed sowing for kids young and old, garden and house plant sales, 50th Anniversary honey from the bee hives in the walled garden, a plant ID challenge and garden games, including coconut shy and a hugely popular duck race with kids following their ducks down the scenic Harris Garden stream!  There was indeed something for everyone including the very first opportunity to taste and purchase the Reading Botany Golden Anniversary Whiteknights Cedar ale!

Overall the Reading Botany Committee estimate around 400 people came through the gates during the day and we raised a splendid grand total of £1371.10 for Reading Botany!  The money will go towards the costs of our symposium on the state of botany teaching in the UK on Friday 8 November 2019 at Reading.  The symposium aims to bring together botany teachers from schools, universities and other training institutes and organisations throughout the UK to debate the most effective ways to inspire, encourage and to train the next generation of botanists, and to influence the future education and training targets of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Many thanks to the Reading Botany Committee for planning and organisation and to all the people who came along to support our botanical event!

Check out our Go Potty gif file of images below: