AN ALIEN invasion and a storybook told through the arrangement of flowers, have proved a hit with the judges at this year's Chelsea Flower Show.

Gardeners and businesses across Oxfordshire entered their perfect petals and fantastic flowers for judging at the Royal Horticultural Society show. Some proved hugely successful, being crowned among the top entries and bringing home gold standard certificates.

One florist who is celebrating a golden win is Jane Belcher, from Abingdon, who took home gold for the Best Floral Arrangement Exhibit in Session 1 flower arranging.

She said: "It is always a huge relief when you find out you have been awarded a medal after weeks of hard work. To get a gold was an amazing feeling and to receive the award for best floral arrangement exhibit was the icing on the cake.

"Chelsea has a fabulous atmosphere and you get to meet lots of other competitors from around the country and the rest of the world. It is always great to see them again the following year."

Ms Belcher created a master piece of flowers under the category 'In Suspense' which was based on a piece of literature called The Birds.

She added: "I wanted the design to look like pages of a book with the story running through the design and the orchids depicting the birds."

For Ms Belcher, flower arranging started as a hobby 19 years ago.

Elsewhere in the county a team of scientists put on a display to wow judges in the educational section.

The Wallingford-based CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International), entering the show for the first time, created a display called Nature vs Invader to look at natural solutions to invasive plant problems including alien weeds such as Japanese knotweed.

Scientist Suzy Wood said: "I liked the idea of communicating CABI’s work on invasive species to a wider audience, helping people learn more about the option of natural control of invasive weeds.

"We applied last year to exhibit, and it’s been the perfect opportunity to showcase the science of biocontrol and connect with people who are already passionate about plants and the environment."

The Chelsea Flower show judges obviously agreed with the theory behind the CABI display and awarded the team a gold certificate.

CABI UK director and regional coordinator Dick Shaw added: "We’re absolutely delighted to be honoured with a Gold at Chelsea.

"It is a credit to the whole team, but also a credit to the RHS who allowed many of their prohibited species into this most prestigious of shows. "Invasive species are an issue for all of us globally and we hope that our display helps get the message out that all is not lost, even for the worst invaders."

Other entries across the county included Jemini Florist in the Covered market who just missed out on a bronze award by one point in the flower arranging session.

* If you have had a winning entry at this year's Chelsea Flower show, contact the news desk at