The Garden

Looking across raised beds and lawn in the MERL garden to the back of the MERL building

Our garden is a peaceful, green oasis in the middle of Reading. Pop in for some peace and quiet during a lunch break, or take time out during a museum visit!

As well as a large lawn – perfect for picnics  – the garden includes herbaceous borders with medicinal, culinary, and multi-purpose plants, a wild flower bank, woodland area and a variety of fruit trees.

The garden features a shepherd’s hut decorated by our volunteer knitting group, fun activities for children, including a new wooden play tractor, Community Growing Spaces, and new food and crop-based planting. Find out more on Garden Projects page.

We usually have resident chickens, but they are currently ‘on holiday’ in a member of staff’s garden whilst the museum is closed.

Many of our events and activities are inspired by the garden, including museum trails, workshops and regular sessions for toddlers.

Garden Trails

Our trails are designed to help families explore the garden. You can download copies to bring on your visit:

THE MERL LITTLE MICE GARDEN TRAIL

THE MERL GARDEN TREE TRAIL

THE MERL WOODLAND BRASS RUBBING SHEET

THE MERL GARDEN SPRINGTIME TRAIL

The garden is cared for by the University of Reading Grounds Team and MERL volunteers.