RHS Photographic Competition


Image above © Kristina Zvinakeviciute - Overall Adult Winner

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) annual Photographic Competition 2018 has announced the winners from each of its nine distinct categories. The winning images will be on display at each of the four RHS Gardens from 15 August to September.

Entries are now open for the 2019 competition and will close 1 March 2019. Both novice and expert photographers can enter their photographs to demonstrate their passion for gardening, plants, outdoor spaces or wildlife. Entering is free and open to anyone simply by visiting the RHS website here.

We take a look at the winners from each category.

Celebrating gardens

We asked entrants get out and about photographing the very best of gardens – whether a spectacular part of an RHS garden or their own private space, celebrating the essence of being in a garden. 

Marianne Majerus - The soft hues of autumn at RHS Garden Wisley

© Marianne Majerus - The soft hues of autumn at RHS Garden Wisley

Autumnal view of the planting by garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith beside The Glasshouse at RHS Garden Wisley, featuring Miscanthus grass, pillars of Carpinus, fiery colours from a young Prunus ‘Shogetsu’ and golden tints from mature oaks. Taken using a Canon 5D MkIV. 

Welcoming garden wildlife

Insects, birds and creatures found wild in gardens or in their native environment.

Kristina Zvinakeviciute - One

© Kristina Zvinakeviciute - One (Overall Adult Winner)

Winner of the Welcoming Garden Wildlife category, this image is of a soldier beetle spotted during summer in a meadow of wavy hair grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) near Manchester. Taken with a Sony 77.

Pure Plants

This category is for images of a plant, tree or shrub as a whole or near-whole entity – for example a photograph could include the flower, stem and leaves of one single plant, or a clump of plants in their natural environment.

Aleksandr Ivanov - Awakening

© Aleksandr Ivanov - Awakening

Portrait of a wild tulip (Tulipa), capturing the harmony of nature and taken in the cool, clear dawn light, near Kharabali in the Kharabalinsky district, Russia. Taken using a Nikon D800.

Urban Gardening 

This category supported the RHS Greening Grey Britain campaign to enrich everyone’s life through plants and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place – growing plants wherever possible in towns and cities.

Anna Marko - Through concrete to the sun

© Anna Marko - Through concrete to the sun

Image taken in summer at dawn of a construction site in Kemerovo, Russia; the plants emerging between concrete slabs caught by the rays of the rising sun formed a harmonious composition and inspired the photographer. Taken with a Canon 650D.

Social Media

Photographers of all ages could enter the Social Media category: any image submitted via RHS Twitter, Instagram or Facebook accounts, using the hashtag #RHSphotocomp. The image could be related to anything horticultural or gardening, and a monthly winner was selected by our social media followers. Each monthly winner was then fed into the competition judging for overall category winner.

Paula Cooper - Snow Showers

© Paula Cooper - Snow Showers

Image of a woodland taken on a snowy day in December at Thetford Forest in Norfolk, the falling snowflakes lending a sense of movement to the scene and contrasting with the last of autumn’s leaves. Taken using a Panasonic G

Young Photographer

Age 11- 17

Madhura Tilve - How the colours change when the sun sets

© Madhura Tilve - How the colours change when the sun sets

Grass flowers bejewelled with raindrops and silhouetted against the setting sun, representing the raw beauty of nature and plants and spotted by the photographer while on a hike in Halla-san National Park, Jeju Island, South Korea. Taken using a Nikon D610. 

Children's (under 11s)

Any photographs depicting something plant, garden or wildlife related that interests you

Indigo Larmour - Am I camouflaged?

© Indigo Larmour - Am I camouflaged? (Overall young winner)

Winner of the Under 11s, this image is a portrait of a grasshopper observed by the photographer in a garden, blending perfectly with the leaves of a succulent plant, seen while on a road trip near Little Petra in Jordan. Taken using a Nikon D600.


This category is for a compilation of six images in a series or on a common theme, and is judged for RHS Medals.

Polina Plotnikova - Dancing Flowers

© Polina Plotnikova - Dancing Flowers (Best in Show and gold medal winner)

Series of white flowers taken at slow shutter speed, with intentional camera movement (ICM) and in-camera double exposure. The aim was to create the appearance of ethereal dancing flowers. Basic adjustments in Photoshop, but no major alteration. Location: all images taken in my home studio, London.

The winner of the RHS Photographic Competition 2019 will receive £5,000, and the Young Winner of the RHS Photographic Competition 2019 will receive £750 Wex Photographic vouchers. Click here to find out more and to submit your entries.