Friends of the Harris Garden

The Harris Garden is on the Whiteknights campus of the University of Reading, Berkshire, UK. It is open to everyone, with a wide range of planting and features that give something to enjoy all year. The Garden is also used for research in the University, and plays an important role in local conservation initiatives.

The Friends of the Harris Garden is a charitable organisation founded in 1987 to support the development and maintenance of the garden, in partnership with the University. The charity has supported and funded many of the major features of the garden.

One of Reading’s hidden treasures.”  – Sarah Fleming, a visitor to the Garden, quoted in the Reading Chronicle.

“For me it’s a lovely large area near the centre of the town, and is something for the whole family to enjoy. There is a lot to learn.”  – Heather Skinner, Plant Heritage County organiser.

For more reviews, or to add a review yourself, see our entries on Google and Tripadvisor.

Come and enjoy this beautiful and interesting garden, with planting that provides year round interest, and a haven of peace and tranquillity situated on the University campus.

The Garden is open daily from 8am to dusk.

Garden Highlights

  • The garden contains many rare and unusual trees and shrubs from around the world, some dating from the original 18th and 19th century gardens. These include the veteran Turkey Oaks of which only five now remain. Please see the map to follow the Garden’s Tree Trail (also available as a Google Map), highlighting the Garden’s more impressive and/or interesting specimens!
  • To the left of the Turkey Oaks you will find the Damp Garden, which some visitors may remember as being a pond. The Damp Garden is planted with a variety of flowering shrubs, trees and ferns that will tolerate seasonal flooding.
  • Beyond the Damp Garden are the Flower Stream and Meadows featuring mainly native wild flowers, which provide a magnificent sight in spring and summer that is enhanced by the addition of bulbous plants such as narcissi, camassias and alliums when they are in bloom. The Flower Stream features many varieties that are particularly attractive to insects.
  • Several large herbaceous borders in the Formal Borders and elsewhere provide colour from spring to autumn and contain a wide range of plants. The Conifer Circle provides a wonderful backdrop.
  • The Dry Garden was created around two large eucalyptus trees. It contains many drought-tolerant plants, which give texture and structure and are attractive to bees and butterflies.


Please consider donating via JustGiving to our charity to help fund the upkeep and development of this beautiful public space.

Thank you!