RHS Annual Photographic Competition calls on all budding photographers and gardeners

Tuesday 30 January 2018

• Free Competition celebrates the everyday beauty around us • Winners will feature in new exhibition to take place at the RHS London Plant and Art Fair in July 2018, before touring across all four RHS Gardens • Chance to win a coveted RHS Gold medal in the Portfolio category • Social Media category #RHSPhotoComp • Competition closes 1 March 2018


The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is calling on novice and expert photographers alike to enter the annual RHS Photographic Competition, sponsored by The Sunday Times. The free competition will allow entrants to submit their photographs online until 10am Thursday 1 March 2018.

Chris Young, Chair of the judging panel, said: “We are surrounded by the beauty of plants, garden and nature, so this photography competition is the perfect way to celebrate the diversity of our world around us. We are calling on all people – whether first time gardeners or experienced photographers – to record and submit their images for free to our competition. There is a category for everyone, and we want to share our passion – through images – with all our different audiences.”

Winning photographs will feature in a new exhibition to be held at the RHS London Plant and Art Fair (11 – 12 July), complemented by additional botanical art and paintings. The exhibition will then tour across all four RHS Gardens at Wisley, Hyde Hall, Rosemoor and Harlow Carr.
Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second and third places in each category from an overall prize fund of £10,000. In addition, the winner of each adult category will receive a year’s membership to the RHS.

The winning images will be selected by the judging panel for their originality, creativity, artistry and technical excellence. The judging panel will be chaired by Chris Young, Editor of RHS magazine The Garden.

The nine distinct categories are: Celebrating Gardens; Welcoming Garden Wildlife; Pure Plants; Abstract; Urban Gardening; Social Media; Under 18s (age 11-17); Under 11s; Portfolio.

Highlights this year include the Urban Gardening category, which calls for photographs that truly represent gardens, wildlife or plants in urban areas. From a small plant growing on a balcony ledge, to the intricacies of gardens supporting a network of wildlife reserves, we want to see it all. This category also underpins the RHS Greening Grey Britain campaign urging communities and individuals across the UK to transform grey spaces into living planted areas.

In contrast, the Abstract category can show off the graphic skill of a photographer by focusing on the detail, beauty and curious views of a subject, with image manipulation and diverse graphic approaches welcome.
The prestigious garden photography competition attracts entries from all around the world who want to share those moments of beauty and awakening, when nature reveals its enigmatic symmetry to the camera lens. With more than 10,000 entries for the 2017 competition, it is fast becoming a vital addition to the world of photography competitions.

Eleanor Mills, Editor Sunday Times Magazine, Editorial Director, The Sunday Times said: "I am delighted to continue the great tradition of excellent photography in The Sunday Times Magazine by sponsoring the RHS for the photographic competition. I look forward to being dazzled by the ingenuity and creativity of Britain's photographers. Get busy snapping your best plants, flowers and garden scenes.”
The competition will close at 10am on Thursday 1 March. To enter please visit: www.rhs.org.uk/photocomp   


Notes to editors

About the RHS Photographic Competition

The competition opened on 22 May 2017 and closes on 1 March 2018. There are nine categories in total and all are free to enter, both for RHS members and non-members. Of these, eight categories will give a first, second or third place, plus highly commended, if judges deem necessary. The Portfolio category is an RHS-judged medal category for which applicants must go through to a selection process (please see below). To enter free images please visit: rhs.org.uk/photocomp

• Celebrating Gardens: get out and about photographing the very best of gardens – whether a spectacular part of an RHS garden or your own private space. From flower portrait to a wider view, or simply people enjoying the space around them, let your photographic imagination flourish and celebrate the essence of being in a garden.

• Welcoming Garden Wildlife: beautiful photographs of insects, birds and creatures found wild in your garden or garden surroundings.

• Pure Plants: if you love capturing plants growing happily in their location, this is the category for you. Submissions should show 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.

• Abstract: let your imagination, originality and creativity go wild – submissions can be a close-up of a plant or an abstract view of plants or gardens. Image manipulation and graphic approaches are also welcomed.

• Urban Gardening: whether you live in a flat, shared space or have a small outside terrace, all types of gardening can be undertaken in a city or town. Supporting the RHS Greening Grey Britain campaign, we aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place – photographs could be a view of a windowsill in an urban flat or a small planted area in the suburbs.

• Social Media: any image submitted via RHS Twitter, Instagram or Facebook accounts using the hashtag #RHSphotocomp. The image can be related to anything horticultural, gardening or wildlife. The monthly shortlist will be selected by the RHS social media team and the winner will be selected by our social media followers. Each monthly winner will then be fed into the competition judging for overall category winner.

• Under 18s (age 11-17): any photographs depicting something plant, garden or wildlife related that interests you.

• Under 11s: any photographs depicting something plant, garden or wildlife related that interests you.

• Portfolio: This category is for a compilation of six images in a series or based on a common theme or style. This category is open to both amateur and professional photographers.


Winner of the RHS Photographic Competition 2017 £5,000
Young Winner of the RHS Photographic Competition 2017 £750 Wex Photographic vouchers

Adult categories
First Prize £500 + RHS Gift membership
Second Prize £250
Third Price £150

Portfolio category
Winner £500 + RHS Gift membership

Young photographer (11–17)
First place £150 Wex Photographic vouchers
Second place £75 Wex Photographic vouchers
Third place £50 Wex Photographic vouchers

Children’s photographer (under 11)
First place £150 Wex Photographic vouchers
Second place £75 Wex Photographic vouchers
Third place £50 Wex Photographic vouchers

Judging panel:

Judges will be confirmed in the New Year.

Chris Young, Chair of the Judging Panel is Editor of the RHS magazine The Garden. A keen gardener and trained landscape designer, he has a passion for photography and for an image’s ability to capture the beauty of gardens, plants and open spaces. He has been a judge on the RHS Photographic Competition for eight years, and always enjoys the range of images that are submitted.

About the RHS

The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.

We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity. At our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants, promote the value of gardens, demonstrate how gardening is good for us and explain the vital roles that plants undertake.

The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £10.4 billion industry employing more than 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit rhs.org.uk/join


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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

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