The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has revealed the winners of the 2021 RHS Photographic Competition, ahead of this year’s National Gardening Week (26 April – 2 May).

In a year that has seen a huge increase in people appreciating their local green spaces owing to the lockdowns, the RHS has reported a record number of entries to this year’s competition with the winning images selected from thousands of photographs from amateur and professional photographers around the world.

Making clever use of drone photography, Oliver Dixon scooped the title of Overall Winner for his image Spring from the Air. Entered into the Gardens category, the aerial shot gives a rarely seen glimpse of the intricate and symmetrically pleasing design of The Flower Garden at Loseley Park, Surrey. Judges praised the “astonishing detail of the image, which used texture, colour and design to give the photo a tapestry-like feel,” said the organisers.

The title of Overall Young Winner was awarded to Jack Sedgwick, whose image Fantasy Flowers was entered into the Under 11s category. “His clever combination of three photographs taken on a rainy summer’s day at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate stood out… for its originality, high degree of creativity and experimentation.”

The winning image in the new ‘Indoor Gardening’ category was photographed by Weerasinghe Tilan, and captures indoor gardening as a family pursuit during lockdown at a home in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Award winning garden photographer and competition Judge, Richard Bloom said: “The diversity of imagery in this year’s competition has been astounding, with some very creative, unusual, dark, joyful and sometimes humorous work entered. No doubt in some way a response to the pandemic and the lockdown people have endured but also the introduction of the new ‘Creative’ and ‘Indoor Gardening’ categories which have given photographers a greater opportunity to get creative within their own boundaries.”

See the winning photographs here – they will be on display at all five RHS Gardens in September.

The 2022 RHS Photographic Competition is now open for entries, welcoming photographers of all levels of expertise. Entry is free and open to everyone, and images can be taken on any photographic device. Maximum five images per person. Entries should be submitted  on the same site by 10am, on Tuesday 1 February 2022.

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