An Irish gardener has won a gold medal at this year's Chelsea Flower Show in London.

Billy Alexander's display features ferns from Kells Bay House and Gardens, near Cahersiveen in Co Kerry.

The UK's Royal Horticultural Society postponed this year's show - due to take place in May - in the face of the ongoing pandemic, having cancelled the event last year and taking it online as the UK endured its first lockdown.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Alexander said seeing a gold medal on his stand this morning "means everything" to him and is the pinnacle of his exhibiting challenges.

"I am absolutely delighted, I came here for the gold and really wanted the gold," he said.

Mr Alexander, who is described as having a burning passion for ferns and mosses, is no stranger to gold medals having won a another gold medal in July at the Hampton Court Palace Garden.

He said his winning display is a "labour of love" and represents a microcosm of the gardens at Kells Bay, where there is a collection of around 600 tree ferns.

Mr Alexander said his Chelsea win is "a unique experience" as the event is being staged in September instead of May, which suited his fern display as they are non-flowering plants.

His garden display features some rare and unusual ferns, many from the southern hemisphere, which he also grows in the gardens at Kells Bay.

He described it as a tranquil, peaceful garden with rocks and moss that were brought to London on lorry from Kerry.

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Billy Alexander won gold at the show

This year's autumn move means the event will have a different look, with blooms such as asters and dahlias, trees full of fruit and berries, grasses and seed heads, and autumn bulbs such as nerines.

The RHS said it would have a similar feel to the spring show, with show gardens and plant displays, but with new nurseries exhibiting seasonal blooms such as camellias, and different plants across the whole site.

The horticultural charity is also keen to use the autumn version of the show to highlight that autumn is an important season for gardening, before it reverts to a May date in 2022.

Also among the displays is an organic show garden by Yeo Valley, which encourages people to put nature first, and had to be redesigned with late summer planting when the show was moved.

Designer Tom Massey said: "We want to create a beautiful garden that inspires visitors to think about using more sustainable gardening practices.

"September is one of the most wonderful times of year in the garden and so it is extra special to be part of the first, and most likely only, Chelsea in September."

The Florence Nightingale Garden, which marks the bicentenary of the birth of the trailblazing nurse and celebrates the importance of the nursing profession in the 21st century, will be relocated to St Thomas' Hospital in London in 2022 - to a spot currently being used as a Covid-19 testing and vaccination centre.

It will feature seed heads of foxgloves - Nightingale's favourite plant - as the flowers will be over by September.

Within the great pavilion of the show there is a piazza featuring fruit and vegetables such as pumpkins to mark the harvest season, and a two-metre high wall of clay bee hives within pollinator-friendly planting.

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Additional reporting PA