They contain unrivalled collections of azaleas, camellias, magnolias and many other spring-flowering shrubs and trees. The largest planting of rhododendrons in the world covers 50 acres (200,000 m2) and there are several acres of daffodils. A heather garden of 10 acres (40,000 m2) gives pleasure even in winter.
The gardens were planted from 1946 onwards, under the eye of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. It was J.B. Stevenson of Tower Court who urged the selection of the Kurume azaleas for the Punch Bowl and it was his famous collection of rhododendrons which was added to the Gardens in the 1940s after his death. It is worth noting that all this work was undertaken at a time of great austerity. The publicity at the time said, the Gardens "always open to the public would provide pleasant hours of relaxation for many a tired worker from factory or office". They were and should remain "private gardens accessible to the public".
Controversial alterations are deferred
As the Valley Gardens entered the 21st century, the Crown Estate were proposing to fence Valley Gardens with a 1.7 metre steel deer fence and charge for entry. Many residents from Berkshire and Surrey and all the parishes around Windsor Great Park opposed this scheme. They were joined by a nationwide and international protest from all those who know and love the gardens as a magnificent and unique woodland landscape. The Valley Gardens Action Group were formed to fight these proposals. After an intense campaign, see  for details, the Crown Estate backed down and deferred these plans.
The Crown Estate will conduct “extended monitoring of horticultural and landscape management issues over the next few years. Other proposals ...such as the provision of a land train, children's adventure play area and closure of the Valley Gardens car park are also subject to further review".