Royal Horticultural Society’s Photographic Competition 2012

The winning images from the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual photographic competition have been announced.

Competition organiser James Arnold, said: ‘We have had a record number of entries this year, doubling figures from last year.

‘The judges have been astounded by the extraordinary quality of the images which people have produced from all over the world; it’s simply breathtaking and very difficult to choose a winner.’

Press release:

The Royal Horticultural Society has announced the winners of its RHS Photographer of the year competition

Thousands entered, but only one was crowned RHS Photographer of the Year 2011. Stephen Webb, from Woking, took the prestigious title and a cheque for £1,000 after capturing this spectacular image of a carpet of crocuses in the early evening light.

Chris Young, competition judge and Editor of the RHS magazine, The Garden, said: “This is one of those images that just transports you to a place and time – I can feel the temperature, the sun shining through and the pleasure at seeing the colourful crocuses pushing through the grass. The image really stood out to us as a very special photograph and one that gives the feeling of the first sign of spring.”

Stephen Webb, said: “To capture the drama of an early spring day I lay flat on the ground at the level of the crocuses, revealing the atmospheric scene of low spring sunshine lighting the bank of purple flowers.”
The judging panel, which also consisted of renowned garden photographer, Marianne Majerus, and photographer, journalist and head gardener at River Cottage, Mark Diacono, was similarly impressed by the standard of entries from budding photographers.

Chris continued: “The standard of entries into the competition was staggering. It was inspirational to see how so many talented photographers, of all ages and amateur and professional alike, can take such a variety of approaches to familiar subjects and really bring the garden to life through their photographs. I was particularly impressed by the standard of the submissions by the younger age groups – some of the shots were really special.”

The Royal Horticultural Society, the UK’s leading gardening charity, is dedicated to inspiring millions of people to garden. The RHS Photographic Competition is just one way that the RHS does this, celebrating the beauty of gardens, their plants and their wildlife.

The competition is supported by Medici Cards, and offers all entrances the chance to also win the Medici Cards Award and have their winning photograph published as a greetings card. This year’s award winner was Dace Umblija with an image of an apple tree in blossom.

To see all of the winning images, visit


RHS Photographer of the Year £1,000
RHS Young Photographer of the Year Digital camera

First prize £350
Second prize £200
Third prize £100

Children and Young Photographers (under 18)
First prize: Digital camera
Second prize: Photographic vouchers
Third prize: Photographic vouchers




Josie Elias, from Sherborne, Dorset, received £1,000 for her winning picture after she stumbled on an Iris garden at Plantas Distintas in Marnes, Spain.

Ms Elias said: ‘I was particularly intrigued by the contrast of the gnarled old olive tree and colourful spring flowers. I felt I had to capture the scene and was very encouraged by the nursery owners to enter the photograph into the RHS competition.

‘I am very excited and honoured to have won.’

Judge Chris Young, editor of The Garden magazine, said: ‘Josie’s image of the olive tree, underplanted by tulips and set within a picturesque view, is not only a beautifully composed photograph; it also screams warm weather and springtime vibrancy.

Commended Wildlife in the Garden Category –  Picture: John Cocks

Highly Commended Plant Portrait Category – Picture: Tim Hunt

Nigel Burkitt’s image of delphiniums won second prize in the gardens through the seasons category

The RHS Young Photographer of the Year 2012 title has been awarded to Alex Berryman. Alex, aged 15, says: “I was lucky enough to have a pair of robins nesting in my garden and happened to be outside with my camera at the moment they fledged. The birds were unable to fly and were extremely vulnerable. Eventually one hopped up onto a post, and I began to snap away. The bird was constantly calling for its mother and this is what enabled me to get the shot. Sometimes the best wildlife can be found right on our doorsteps. I am extremely pleased to have won the competition, and even more so to have won it with one of my favourite photographs.”

Jacky Parker’s photograph of a spider on an astrantia flower won the wildlife in the garden category

First prize in the plant portrait category went to Tom Hard

Jon Hawkins won third prize in the wildlife in the garden category with this image of a robin

Amber Rose Amos won the children’s photographer ynder-11s category with this photograph

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