A Guide to the Trees of Valley Gardens, Harrogate, by Society member, Jane Blayney, and Simon Hill with a foreword by Martin Fish. Published by VIDAR Media Group Ltd. ISBN 9781999346867

An essential guide to the trees of Valley Gardens Harrogate has just been published.  The authors are residents of Harrogate district and offer this unique perspective on a feature of the Gardens that is so often overlooked. 

Opened in 1887 in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, Valley Gardens is a Grade II Listed 17-acre park near the centre of Harrogate.  The special character of the Gardens is provided by the vast variety of trees; some are native to the British Isles while others are examples from more exotic places.

Many of the trees are now well over 100 years old and the authors have selected thirty species that together help make Valley Gardens such a special place.  For each species, Jane Blayney and Simon Hill describe the tree: its shape, bark, leaves, flowers and fruit; and reveal how the species was introduced to the British Isles and highlight some of the pests and diseases that threaten its survival.  The authors go beyond the conventional ‘guide book’ treatment and provide fascinating insights to the use of the tree, and explain its mythology and cultural associations.

There is evidence that being around trees is good for our general well-being and mental health.  This guide will help more of us to realise the enormous importance of trees and allow us to explore Valley gardens with far greater insight then was previously possible.

About the Authors

Jane Blayney is a member of The Yorkshire Society and a qualified horticulturalist and a past Chair (2010-2018) of the Friends of Valley Gardens.  During her time as Chair, the ‘Friends’ was responsible for re-planting the New Zealand Garden; restoring the Old Magnesia Well Pump Room; creation of the Japanese Garden and the installation of the King Edward VII Memorial Gate.

Simon Hill is an award-winning designer of landscapes and heritage attractions, gaining medals at the Chelsea Flower Show and winning many awards for his museum and gallery designs.  A widely-published photographer, he is currently President (2021-2025) and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain.

A Guide to the Trees of Valley Gardens, Harrogate   £7.50

(£10.00 to include post and packing) Discounts available for quantity orders. All order and publicity enquiries to

For more information please visit:

Pin It on Pinterest