TWO Brighton-based garden designers have picked up gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show.

First-time Chelsea contestant Juliet Sargeant won gold for her Modern Slavery Garden in the Fresh category.

The first black woman to exhibit at the show, Mrs Sargeant’s remarks about a lack of diversity within gardening caused a stir and led her patch to be one of the most talked-about.

But the 50-year-old also told The Argus last week that the Royal Horticultural Society has been very supportive of her garden, which aims to highlight unseen slavery in modern Britain.

Mrs Sargeant, who lives in Rottingdean, told The Argus: “I’m absolutely elated. Any kind of medal at Chelsea is fabulous. I didn’t anticipate it at all so I’m completely over the moon.

“The reception to the garden has been tremendous and people have been really positive and happy to see a garden used for a serious subject.”

Her garden drew praises from royals including Prince Andrew’s daughter Princess Eugenie of York.

Elsewhere, Andy Sturgeon is behind The Telegraph garden inspired by dinosaurs and the geological events which moulded the landscape. The Brighton-based designer has now won six gold medals, including best in the show in 2012. He said: “I love the drama, the excitement and the jeopardy.”

Mr Sturgeon’s garden shows bronze fins which represent an ancient mountain range with a stream running in a gorge below.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show continues until Saturday.