International Garden Photographer of the Year competition 2023
Tony North has been named winner of this year’s International Garden Photographer of the Year competition.
His picture was taken in the island of La Palma, which is part of the Canary Islands. It is entitled Blue Tajinaste and also won first place in the Breathing Spaces section of the competition.
North achieved the final image by combining two different exposures; one of the sky and one of the foreground.
“Tony North has literally elevated the Breathing Spaces category to new heights, by photographing endemic mountain-top flora with a breathtaking landscape view – well-framed to include many points of interest,” said head judge Tyrone McGlinchey.
“This photograph excels in highlighting plant life on our planet.”
This picture was also awarded the Threatened Plants Photographic Award.
“Echium gentianoides is rare, being confined to La Palma in the Canary Islands, and classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as vulnerable due to browsing and predation by goats and other invasive species,” says Dr Paul P Smith, Secretary General, Botanic Gardens Conservation International.
Here are the winning photographs from the other categories.
Barry Webb was awarded first place in the Portfolios section and a Gold Medal from the Royal Photographic Society.
His series of pictures captures the beauty and diversity of slime moulds, each one made up of many images stacked on each other.
Gigi Williams’ photograph of the Namib Desert in Namibia was awarded first place in the Plants and Planets category.
“I took this photo in the Namib Desert, which is home to some of the highest sand dunes in the world; this one was particularly impressive with the tiny trees growing happily at the bottom. It is amazing where plants can grow and how life adapts,” says Williams.
Fallen Orchid Flowers by Claire Carter won the Beauty of Plants category.
“I captured these dead orchid flowers, after they had dropped, when they started to dry and take on a wonderful, paper-like texture,” says Carter.
“To complement this, I added the background texture layer in post-processing.”
The Wildlife in the Garden category was won by Gianluca Benini. His picture, Cinciarella, was taken at the Castelnuovo del Garda in Verona, Italy.
“After several attempts, I managed to capture the exact moment when the blue tit (cinciarella in Italian), took flight from the sunflower head,” says Benini.
“I am used to placing dried sunflowers in the garden to feed the various bird species that visit me in winter.”
Heather and Bracken by Mark Bauer was taken in the New Forest in Hampshire and won the Wildflower Landscapes category.
“This area of heathland near Burley in the New Forest is particularly photogenic in late August, when there is an extensive carpet of heather on the gentle slopes,” says Bauer.
“I found a section which was broken up by bracken, just starting to turn into golden hues. A lone tree in the distance made a natural focal point, with the hills behind it receding into the light mist.”
Abandon Hope by David Townshend was inspired by a line from Dante’s The Divine Comedy.
“I see circles within circles of Dante’s Inferno, which I created from a bug hotel in my garden using in-camera image blending,” says Townshend.
The Beautiful Garden category was won by Caroline Piek.
Her picture shows The Stream Garden in Waspik, the Netherlands, an immersive naturalistic garden.
The World of Fungi category was awarded to Jay Birmingham for his picture entitled Autumn Emergence, which was taken in Monks Park Wood, Warwickshire.
“I came across this honey fungus in my local woodland, just as the sun was rising and lighting up the woods with golden hues,” says Birmingham.
“The bonus was the bracken behind – which gave the picture a wonderfully warm autumnal feel. I captured using a wide aperture, to isolate the subject, and to maximise the bokeh background, I also used focus stacking in post-processing.”
Bernadette Benz waited for a day with hoar frost before taking her picture called Frosted Silver Birch which won the Trees, Woods and Forests category. It was taken in Auenstein, Aargau, Switzerland.