Winners for the International Garden Photography of the Year Awards

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Imagine sifting through thousands of photographs to pick the best floral shots of the year from over 20,000 entries. What fun, right?
That’s what the team behind the prestigious International Garden Photographer of the Year awards do every year. Entries are welcome from amateurs and professionals alike from any country in the world.  The main competition closes on October 31st every year.
Like the lead-up to the Oscars, the winners are staggered over a few weeks.
These annual awards are supported by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London. The main exhibition is held annually at Kew, with a rolling program of touring exhibitions in the UK and all over the world. Other announcements will come on February 7th for different categories. 
Here is the first batch we can share and hope you find them as spectacular as we do. These images are currently being shown at Sissinghurst Castle as part of the International Garden Photographer of the Year awards.
The winner for the Beauty of Plants are the following:

Kathleen Furey also won an award for this photo called “Lotus Tango.” It as taken in Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C.
“There are many stages of lotus growth on display at the Aquatic Gardens, but to come across two twisted dancing stems of Nelumbo nucifera was unexpected and quite magical,” said Furey.

Claire Takacs won second place for this photograph in this category.

“This garden is the work of Sarah Ryan, a true artist,” says Takacs. “She understands the beauty and the influence of light in her garden and accounts for this with her planting. This image shows her stunning perennial border at sunset and the great tapestry effect of her planting with a remarkable skill for creating a naturalistic style adapted for the Australian climate.”

This extraordinary photo was taken by Janina Jackson, a finalist for the International Garden Photographer of the Year award.
This picture is called, “Roadside Lace” and was taken in Victoria, Australia. “I found this Queen Anne’s lace on the roadside and wanted to capture a delicate dreamlike image, using pastel colors,” says Jackson. It is indeed dreamy. 
Here are two winners for the category of Wildflower Landscapes
Robert Gibbons won 1st place for this picture of wildflowers from the International Garden Photographer of the Year awards. Called, “Mount Rainier in the Mist,” it was taken at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. (That’s the state and not D.C.)
“I came across a spectacular array of summer alpine flowers on Mazama Ridge, including CastillejaLupinus and Anemone occidentalis, all adding character and texture to the scene as if by design,” said Gibbons. 

Monica Siri took third place for this photo, called, “Queen of the Alps.” It was taken at Vallee du Fournel, France.

“The Eryngium alpinum is a jewel of alpine pastures,” she says. “In France there is a nature reserve located on the edge of the Écrins National Park where it grows, flowering in July. The evening wind did not make the shot easy, but it was beautiful to walk in these exceptional fields, dotted with blue flowers.”

We are showcasing the one winner for Macro Art Photo Project and it is truly special. Like a magnet, it draws you in to appreciate the miracles of nature.

This photo of a “salad burnet flower” by Ian Gilmour won 2nd place at the International Garden Photographer of the Year awards.
“It is only with a macro lens that the true beauty of these tiny flowers of Sanguisorba minor can be appreciated,” said Gilmour, who took this shot in West Yorkshire, England.

There are nine regular categories each year which allow many professionals as well as amateurs to take home a prize and the satisfaction of having their work seen by a global audience.

Maybe some of your fab shots of flowers can be submitted. Why not? Take some and send it to them. Plus when you see life through the prism of flowers, it is both beautiful and interesting.  

Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD.

Photo Credits:  International Garden Photographer of the Year Awards (IGPOTY)