In Pictures

Winning photos of great gardens

Left - by Lee Acaster Image copyright Lee Acaster

This late autumn photo - from Snowdonia National Park in North Wales - has been crowned the overall winner of the 10th annual International Garden Photographer of the Year competition.

Taken by Lee Acaster, and entitled Left, this stark image won the Trees, Woods and Forests category - and then beat thousands of other entries to win the top spot.

Garden designer Chris Beardshaw - one of the competition judges - says the photo "perfectly encapsulates both the extremes of fortune and personality of these giants".

While Clare Foggett - who edits The English Garden Magazine - says the image "draws the viewer in, to reveal the still surface of the lake behind. It demands closer inspection".

Scroll down to see a selection of some of the best images from each category.

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Section heading: Beautiful Gardens

Nigel McCall - 1st Place

Autumn Evening at Aberglasney

Aberglasney Gardens, Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK

Autumn Evening at Aberglasney - by Nigel McCall Image copyright Nigel McCall

Judges' comments

Philip Smith, founder of International Garden Photographer of the Year:

"This is a classical composition with the bridge leading us into the garden and its wonderful display of October colour. The angle of view is very precisely aligned, creating the feeling of serene calm."

Clare Foggett, Editor of the English Garden Magazine:

"It has a calm, almost Eastern zen-like quality. The autumn leaves on the handrail could have been artfully placed there by a stylist, but the fact that they had been spontaneously placed there by children visiting the garden earlier seems to add even more serendipity to the image."

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Cathy Cooper - Finalist

Marigold Glow

Windamere Hotel, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India

Marigold Glow by Cathy Cooper Image copyright Cathy Cooper
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Volker Michael - Finalist

First Rays

Jistrum, Friesland, The Netherlands

First Rays by Volker Michael Image copyright Volker Michael
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Rosanna Castrini - Highly Commended

Towards the Clearing

Botanical Garden of Villa Bricherasio, Piedmont, Italy

Towards the Clearing by Rosanna Castrini Image copyright Rosanna Castrini
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Jason Ingram - Commended

Folly Farm Lavender

Berkshire, England, UK

Folly Farm Lavender by Jason Ingram Image copyright Jason Ingram
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Jason Ingram - Highly Commended

Stavordale Priory in Winter

Somerset, England, UK

Stavordale Priory in Winter by Jason Ingram Image copyright Jason Ingram
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Nigel McCall - Highly Commended

Mist over the Lower Walled Garden

Aberglasney Gardens, Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK

Mist over the Lower Walled Garden by Nigel McCall Image copyright Nigel McCall
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Volker Michael - Commended

Prairie Plantation

Weinheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

Prairie Plantation by Volker Michael Image copyright Volker Michael
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Section heading: Wildlife in the Garden

Ross Hoddinott - 1st Place

Marbled White Butterfly

Dunsdon National Nature Reserve, Devon, England, UK

Marbled White Butterfly by Ross Hoddinott Image copyright Ross Hoddinott

Judges' comments

Philip Smith, founder of the International Garden Photographer of the Year:

"A dreamy midsummer scene. It is an unusual composition with the main subject near the picture's edge, but this, taken together with the empty space in the middle of the frame, heightens the faint sense of unreality that marks this photograph out."

Chris Beardshaw, garden designer:

"A fleeting and delicate image that encourages a holding of the breath and calm silence, for fear of disturbing the perfection."

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Henrik Spranz - 2nd Place

Evening Encounter

Vienna, Austria

Evening Encounter by Henrik Spranz Image copyright Henrik Spranz
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Minghui Yuan - Finalist

Frog Prince

Wuhan Botanical Garden, Wuhan City, China

Frog Prince by Minghui Yuan Image copyright Minghui Yuan
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Lili Gao - Finalist

Waiting

Dandong City, Liaoning Province, China

Waiting by Lili Gao Image copyright Lili Gao
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Julian Rad - Finalist

Thirsty Squirrel

Vienna, Austria

Thirsty Squirrel by Image copyright Julian Rad
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Minghui Yuan - Commended

Band of Brothers

Wuhan City, China

Band of Brothers by Minghui Yuan Image copyright Minghui Yuan
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Yi Fan - Highly Commended

Fantastic Homeland

Yunnan Province, China

Fantastic Homeland by Yi Fan Image copyright Yi Fan
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Mateusz Piesiak - Commended

At Sunset

Wrocław, Lower Silesia, Poland

At Sunset by Mateusz Piesiak Image copyright Mateusz Piesiak
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Section heading: Wildflower Landscapes

Gianluca Benini - 1st Place

White Stars at Sunset

Belluno, Veneto, Italy

White Stars at Sunset by Gianluca Benini Image copyright Gianluca Benini

Judges' comments

Clare Foggett, Editor of The English Garden Magazine:

"Wordsworth was right about daffodils filling the heart with pleasure and this photo of 'the stars that shine and twinkle on the Milky Way' does just that, with beautiful light from the setting sun. One look at the image and you want to be there."

Susan Brown, Royal Photographic Society Representative:

"White Stars at Sunset is a descriptive title for this field of wild Narcissus with the beautifully backlit sta- shaped flowers. The low viewpoint chosen by the photographer has encouraged the flowers to command the stage against a dramatic evening sky."

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Yi Fan - 2nd Place

Standing Alone

Hengduan Mountain Range, Yunnan Province, China

Standing Alone by Yi Fan Image copyright Yi Fan
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Salvo Orlando - 3rd Place

Saponaria

Etna National Park, Sicily, Italy

Saponaria by Salvo Orlando Image copyright Salvo Orlando
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Carole Drake - Finalist

Pavement Flowers at Dawn

County Clare, Republic of Ireland

Pavement Flowers at Dawn by Carole Drake Image copyright Carole Drake
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John Glover - Highly Commended

Viper's Bugloss at Sunrise

Cuckmere Valley, East Sussex, England, UK

Viper’s Bugloss at Sunrise by John Glover Image copyright John Glover
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Marcio Cabral - Highly Commended

Golden Grass

Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, Goias, Brazil

Golden Grass by Marcio Cabral Image copyright Marcio Cabral
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Section heading: The Beauty of Plants

Dianne English - 1st Place

Bergenia

New South Wales, Australia

Bergenia by Dianne English Image copyright Dianne English

Judges' comments

Philip Smith, founder of International Garden Photographer of the Year:

"Texture and softening effects have been created in post-capture processing, but the strength of the image is in its very simple but accurate composition. In simplifying the still-life, the photographer has created a strong sense of romantic elegance."

Susan Brown, Royal Photographic Society Representative:

"This charming image of Bergenia not only illustrates the character of the flower, but the added texture and softness to the palette gives it an artistic painterly feel."

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Alexis Javier Acosta Simon - 3rd Place

Las Animas

La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain

Las Animas by Alexis Javier Acosta Simon Image copyright Alexis Javier Acosta Simon
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Bert Shankman - Finalist

Little Boy II

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA

Little Boy II by Bert Shankman Image copyright Bert Shankman
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Rosanna Castrini - Commended

The Ring

Piedmont, Italy

The Ring by Rosanna Castrini Image copyright Rosanna Castrini
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Angela de Groot - Finalist

Bothering Buttercups

Dorset, England, UK

Bothering Buttercups by Angela de Groot Image copyright Angela de Groot
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Nigel Burkitt - Commended

Poppies

Earley, Berkshire, England, UK

Poppies by Nigel Burkitt Image copyright Nigel Burkitt
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Section heading: Breathing Spaces

Anil Sud - 1st Place

Mountain Fog

Maroon Bells Scenic Area, Colorado, USA

Mountain Fog by Anil Sud Image copyright Anil Sud

Judges' comments

Susan Brown, Royal Photographic Society Representative:

"No-one could fault this image for not being true to its subject 'Breathing Spaces'. The glimpse of the mountainside in the break in the clouds has been very well caught and contrasts with the vibrant autumn colours of the foreground. A strong composition with the diagonal of the hillside."

Chris Beardshaw, garden designer:

"Bold, vivid and beautifully capturing the seasonal landscape."

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Mauro Tronto - 2nd Place

All Together

Lago di Campotosto, Abruzzo, Italy

All Together by Mauro Tronto Image copyright Mauro Tronto
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Nikki Munro - Finalist

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK

A Midsummer Night's Dream by Nikki Munro Image copyright Nikki Munro
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Theam Meng Sea - Highly Commended

Tea Farm Sunset

Cameron Highlands District, Pahang, Malaysia

Tea Farm Sunset by Theam Meng Sea Image copyright Theam Meng Sea
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Mauro Tronto - Highly Commended

Awakening

San Severino Marche, Macerata, Italy

Awakening by Mauro Tronto Image copyright Mauro Tronto
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Stefano Coltelli - Commended

Plitvice Falls

The Plitvice Lakes National Park, Plitvicka Jezera, Croatia

Plitvice Falls by Stefano Coltelli Image copyright Stefano Coltelli
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Geoff Kell - Highly Commended

Summer Breeze

Northumberland National Park, England, UK

Summer Breeze by Geoff Kell Image copyright Geoff Kell
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Francis Taylor - Commended

Cotton Grass

Ringinglow, Peak District National Park, Sheffield, England, UK

Cotton Grass by Francis Taylor Image copyright Francis Taylor
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Dawn Blight - Commended

Sheffield Park

National Trust Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex, England, UK

Sheffield Park by Dawn Blight Image copyright Dawn Blight
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The Bountiful Earth

Evelyn Nodwell - 1st Place

Bringing Home the Fodder

Guizhou Province, China

Bringing Home the Fodder by Evelyn Nodwell Image copyright Evelyn Nodwell

Judges' comments

Susan Brown, Royal Photographic Society Representative:

"This anonymous person collecting fodder for his animals has a touch of humour about it. We have to assume he can see where he is going. The mountainous background with lovely soft, misty and low light adds a sense of place."

Philip Smith, founder of International Garden Photographer of the Year:

"This is a spontaneous shot that tells the story perfectly. The photographer has intuitively positioned the farmer in the frame in such a way that we can trudge along with him to the village we can see in the background."

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Flavio Catalano - 2nd Place

Savoy Cabbage

Piedmont, Italy

Savoy Cabbage by Flavio Catalano Image copyright Flavio Catalano
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Mingli Tian - 3rd Place

The Miao Terraces

Guizhou Province, China

The Miao Terraces by Mingli Tian Image copyright Mingli Tian
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Albert Ceolan - Finalist

The Grape Harvest

South Tyrol, Italy

The Grape Harvest by Albert Ceolan Image copyright Albert Ceolan
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Section heading: Greening the City

Zsolt Varanka - 1st Place

Good night Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

Goodnight, Budapest by Zsolt Varanka Image copyright Zsolt Varanka

Judges' comments

Philip Smith, founder of International Garden Photographer of the Year:

"A clever shot. The flowers are beautifully lit and balanced with the lights of the city. There is so much activity to be seen in the background, but the photographer has succeeded in keeping the flowers in the foreground of our attention."

Susan Brown, Royal Photographic Society Representative:

"The shallow depth of field has rendered the lights of a city purely as a glow which leaves the interpretation to the viewer."

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Dina Vieira - 2nd Place

Roof Garden

Park of Nations, Lisbon, Portugal

Roof Garden by Dina Vieira Image copyright Dina Vieira
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Evelyn Nodwell - Finalist

Trees, Shadows and Greens

Parc du Champ-de-Mars, Paris, France

Trees, Shadows and Greens by Evelyn Nodwell Image copyright Evelyn Nodwell
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Brandon Yoshizawa - Commended

City Flowers

Los Angeles, California, USA

City Flowers by Brandon Yoshizawa Image copyright Brandon Yoshizawa
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Paul Brouns - Highly Commended

Urban Jungle

Milan, Italy

Urban Jungle by Paul Brouns Image copyright Paul Brouns
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Joseph Meng Huat Goh - Commended

Roof Garden

Singapore

Roof Garden by Joseph Meng Huat Goh Image copyright Joseph Meng Huat Goh
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Claire Takacs - Commended

Groningen City Garden

Groningen, The Netherlands

Groningen City Garden by Claire Takacs Image copyright Claire Takacs
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Section heading: Trees, Woods and Forests

Bart Heirweg - 2nd Place

Noir Flohay

Noir Flohay, Baraque Michel, Belgium

Noir Flohay by Bart Heirweg Image copyright Bart Heirweg
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Cristiana Damiano - Finalist

In the Silence

Tarvisio Forest, Italy

In the Silence by Cristiana Damiano Image copyright Cristiana Damiano
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Dylan Nardini - Highly Commended

Crooked

Clydesdale, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK

Crooked by Dylan Nardini Image copyright Dylan Nardini
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Andrew George - Commended

Mystic Forest

Stiphoutse Bossen, Gerwen, Noord-Brabant, The Netherlands

Mystic Forest by Andrew George Image copyright Andrew George
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Jianjun Huang - Commended

Charming Dongjiang

Guangdong Province, China

Charming Dongjiang by Jianjun Huang Image copyright Jianjun Huang
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Section heading: Young Garden Photographer

Fergus Brown - age 10 - 1st Place

Kaleidoscope

Abbey Garden, Tresco, The Isles of Scilly, England, UK

Kaleidoscope by Fergus Brown Image copyright Fergus Brown

Judges' comments

Susan Brown, Royal Photographic Society Representative:

"A blaze of colour brings out the true feel of summer. The shallow depth of field adds to the intrigue of the image. An accomplished image for this young photographer."

Philip Smith, founder of International Garden Photographer of the Year:

"A wonderfully exuberant image. The photographer has captured the scene very well by excluding anything that might interfere with the appreciation of colour and pattern."

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Zozi Lencz - age 14 - 2nd Place

Spiky

Bellini Garden, Catania, Sicily, Italy

Spiky by Zozi Lencz Image copyright Zozi Lencz
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Katy Read - age 12 - 3rd Place

Looking Up

Chillingham Castle, Northumberland, England, UK

Looking Up by Katy Read Image copyright Katy Read
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Section heading: Portfolios

Steve Lowry - 1st Place

Cut Flowers

Portstewart, Northern Ireland, UK

Cut Flowers by Steve Lowry Image copyright Steve Lowry

This portfolio of microscopy images was entered as a set in the Beauty of Plants category and features sectioned and stained flower buds.

A selection of the images - including some close-up details - can be seen here.

Cut Flowers by Steve Lowry Image copyright Steve Lowry

Judges' comments

Clare Foggett, Editor of The English Garden Magazine:

"The images are stunning - a rarely seen glimpse of the mechanics and 'insides' of a plant, normally only seen by botanists peering down microscopes. Their other-worldly quality brings a new level of intrigue to our garden plants."

Susan Brown, Royal Photographic Society Representative:

"Well executed and inspirational in design. A very unusual way to portray these flowers, the clarity and design are stunning and a lot of worthwhile hard work has gone into this portfolio."

Cut Flowers by Steve Lowry Image copyright Steve Lowry
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Section heading: Macro Art

George Pantazis - 1st Place

Embryo

Mouttagiaka, Limassol, Cyprus

Embryo by George Pantazis Image copyright George Pantazis

Judges' comments

Philip Smith, founder of International Garden Photographer of the Year:

"One of the most attractive macro images in this year's competition. The light falling on this tiny subject is wonderfully handled and reveals the other-worldly elegance of the subject."

Susan Brown, Royal Photographic Society Representative:

"A captivating image, glorious colours and the composition cannot be faulted. The depth of Field is perfect. The detail is beautiful and this is a very worthy winner of the macro category."

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Section heading: Monochrome

Don Rice - 1st Place

Water Lily

Lake Peten Itza, Department of Peten, Guatemala

Water Lily by Don Rice Image copyright Don Rice

Judges' comments

Susan Brown, Royal Photographic Society Representative:

"A dramatic composition for this monochrome image with lighting to bring out the detail and texture in the leaves and yet maintaining the subtlety of the petals."

Philip Smith, founder of International Garden Photographer of the Year:

"A complex plant stripped down to its essentials of tone, form and texture. It is skilfully processed with a large amount of detail in a complex gradation of grey tones. There's a calm stillness that makes it a worthy winner."

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The winning photos are being exhibited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, at Kew in London, from 4 February to 12 March 2017.

All images subject to copyright.

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