Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Tuesday, 25 May 2010 10:47 UK

Leeds City Council wins gold at Chelsea Flower Show

The council's winning garden design
Previous entries by the council have won bronze and silver

Gardeners at Leeds City Council have won their first gold medal at this year's Chelsea Flower Show.

The winning entry, the authority's most ambitious design yet, is themed around the links connecting the city centre to surrounding countryside.

The team chose a snapshot of the Leeds Liverpool canal as the basis for the design, with a section of the canal and lock gate as the centrepiece.

Joint council leader Andrew Carter said he was thrilled with the result.

The authority's previous seven Chelsea gardens have earned bronze or silver category awards.

Floral meadow

This year's gold entry was created by staff from the council's parks and countryside service with engineering support and sponsorship from Leeds-based Hesco Bastion.

The focal point of the design is a pair of 12ft (3.6m) high lock gates flanked by three distinct sections - woodland, wetland and a floral meadow, all of which can be found in green spaces in Leeds.

Mr Carter said the garden had attracted a lot of attention.

"This is a day we have all dreamed of since Leeds first started coming to Chelsea - competing with the best in the world and winning a gold medal."

He added: "The wild flower meadow is really attracting attention.

"The heat yesterday really brought the wild flower meadow to life and it looked absolutely stunning."

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