HAMPSHIRE gardeners are the cream of the country after scooping five gold awards at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower show today.

Green-fingered experts from across the county have been crowned with top prizes for having the best blooms in the UK at the glamorous garden event in West London, which opened to the public today.

Hillier Nurseries and Garden Centre in Ampfield, Romsey, scooped gold for the 67th year in a row.

Andy McIndoe and his team secured the medal for Duel and Crown, their 2012 exhibit inspired by the sport of fencing.

The Queen herself even visited their exhibit to enjoy a dramatic fencing display by members of the British Fencing Team.

Sparsholt College won gold for its display 'The Space Race' which demonstrates how it is possible to grow a wide range of produce or ornamental plants in small spaces to encourage sustainable communities.

Hampshire Carnivorous Plants based in Fair Oak are celebrating for their gold in showing visitors to the gardens their unusual plants.

Beautiful Furzey Gardens, in Minstead, New Forest, won gold for its design by Chris Beardshaw which celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Hampshire gardens. It features a sloping woodland garden with a reclaimed timber and thatch structure with a tiny fairy door. The garden was created with adults with learning difficulties thanks to the Minstead Training Project.

While Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants in Whitchurch won gold for its garden complete with pathway and water feature.

Heucheraholics, from Lymington, did the south proud by scooping the silver gilt floral award wowing judges with its colourful showcase of heucheras, heucherellas and tiarellas from the specialist Boldre Nurseries.

Visitors are expected to flock in their thousands to see displays of plants, flowers and furniture for ideas on how to decorate their gardens. The entrance to the central London site in the grounds of the Royal Chelsea Hospital is expected to be dominated by show regular Diarmuid Gavin's 24-metre tall pyramid-shaped design. The Westland Magical Garden is made up of scaffolding constructed over eight levels, all covered in greenery but with different themes.