Blooming 'angry' reaction as showcase Harrogate flower beds are left as empty patches of mud for Jubilee weekend

Harrogate has 'missed an opportunity' to show the town off at its glorious best after flower beds opposite the 'Jubilee Square' were left as empty brown mud patches.

By Graham Chalmers
Friday, 3rd June 2022, 2:12 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd June 2022, 3:35 pm
The empty flower beds are situated outside the Alexandra pub and The Yorkshire Hotel, opposite where the 'Jubilee Square' has been erected on the Stray.
The empty flower beds are situated outside the Alexandra pub and The Yorkshire Hotel, opposite where the 'Jubilee Square' has been erected on the Stray.

While the majority will feel that the events and festivities organised by Harrogate community groups, Harrogate Business Improvement District (BID) and Harrogate Borough Council, have offered the perfect way to celebrate the Queen's special achievement - there is some consternation regarding the town's proud flower bed tradition.

A sense of disappointment has been felt, and indeed, expressed that the usually colourful and neatly trimmed beds running along West Park from Hotel du Vin to The Yorkshire Hotel - right opposite where the 'Jubilee Square' has been set up as one of the key congregation areas - are entirely devoid of any flowers.

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Part of the Stray facing the Alexandra pub on West Park has been transformed into Jubilee Square, with a large stage and video screens to broadcast The Queen's Birthday Parade, Platinum Party at the Palace and other Royal events from central London – bringing a real flavour of Buckingham Palace and beyond to the town.

However, instead of being welcomed by a vista of brightly coloured petals, visitors to the Stray this weekend have been welcomed by a series of brown mud patches.

The care of Harrogate's public flower beds falls to Harrogate Borough Council.

Harrogate Lib Dem leader Coun Pat Marsh said she regarded the whole thing as a missed opportunity to show off Harrogate's "horticultural excellence" in what is an unprecedented moment in British history.

"I am shocked, upset and angry as the town is known for its horticultural excellence, winning not just Yorkshire and UK In Bloom titles but European as well," said Coun Marsh.

"Add into that the Queen's Jubilee then there is huge disappointment at the situation.

"I know that some of the responsibility is that of the hotels but the council should have worked with them for this very special one off occasion. This could damage Harrogate's reputation."

Harrogate Borough Council has played a pivotal role in the town's four days of celebrations, with a number of largely free events to mark the Queen's 70th anniversary taking place at 'Jubilee Square' and at Valley Gardens.

As well as entertainment, big screens and areas for people to take their picnic, there has been a dog show on Friday and a Little Bird artisan market on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Gardens' Sun Colonnade offering a selection of local produce, crafts and plants.

The Harrogate Advertiser asked Harrogate Borough Council for a comment on the flowerbeds situation but they had not replied at the time of going to press with this article.