A LOCAL florist – who has worked for the likes of Madonna and Kylie Minogue and whose flowers have been presented to the Queen - has been named in the top 50 of her profession.

Alison Bentley, 50, was chosen as part of the Independent newspaper’s 50 Best Florists in the UK list, as part of a Valentine’s Day special.

Alison, of Wenvoe, has also arranged flowers for Sir Anthony Hopkins, and was responsible for the displays at the civil partnership of actor John Barrowman, and at the wedding of actress Connie Fisher and her Barry-born husband Jeremy Reed "I was really surprised when the newspaper phoned me up and told me that I had been chosen - it was quite a shock," she said.

Alison’s flowers were presented to the Queen during the official opening of the Senedd in 2006 and her work has featured in celebrity magazines Hello! and OK!.

“I originally trained in nursing as my parents wanted me to have a ‘proper job’,” said the married mother-of-two.

“But I gave it up and went to UWIC to do a course in Horticulture and Garden Design,"

Despite working for some of Hollywood’s stars, Alison said that her career highlight was when she was given the chance to present her work to royalty.

"I think the opening of the Senedd was pretty special, doing all the flowers that were seen by the Queen," she added.

For information on Alison’s work, visit www.bentleyflowers.com