Stunning images scoop top prizes in prestigious international photography competition

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Stunning images scoop top prizes in prestigious international photography competition












The hunt for the world’s best garden photographer of 2013 has come to an end as the UK’s leading gardening charity, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), announces the results of its annual photographic competition.

Brighton-based photographer Heather Buckley’s striking image of foxgloves in the gardens at Great Dixter House, East Sussex was chosen from thousands of entries to win the prestigious competition and a prize of £1,000. 17-year-old Mateusz Piesiak from Poland was named RHS Young Photographer of the Year for his stunning image of a starling and receives £250 in vouchers to spend on the Wex Photographic website.

The judging panel for the RHS Photographer of the Year, which was made up of Clive Nichols, one of the world's finest flower and garden photographers, Chris Young, editor of highly regarded gardening magazine The Garden and RHS competition organiser Carol Sheppard, were unanimous in their praise of Heather’s work.

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Chris Young commented: “The quality of images submitted this year, which attracted entries from more than 40 countries, made for an enjoyable but difficult task for the judging panel. The range of images we looked at demonstrates the enthusiasm and passion that people have for capturing the beauty of the natural world. The winning image, which demonstrates a fusion of skilful photography, patience and opportunity, is a perfect fit for the RHS Photographic Competition, as it celebrates the essential relationship between plants and wildlife.”

Speaking about her victory, Heather said: “It’s a great honour to be named RHS Photographer of the Year, as it’s hard to get recognised as a photographer and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to show my work to a larger audience.

“I am really a people and street photographer, but thought the competition would be a great challenge for me as I also love gardens and flowers. I decided to try taking some flower images in my usual street style rather than the close-up style traditionally associated with flower photography. Using a wide-angle lens, in this case a fish-eye, I spent most of the afternoon trying to get this shot, taking the unusual viewpoint of looking up through the towering pink foxgloves at the bees. I finally nailed it with this image.”

Chris Collins, Blue Peter Gardener and judge of RHS Young Photographer of the Year, chose budding Polish photographer Mateusz Piesiak’s beautiful image of a starling from a very strong field of entries.

Speaking about the image, Chris said: “By bringing out the colour in the wings, and tying it in with the soft colours of the dawn mist, Mateusz has created a work of great beauty.”

The competition was open to both professional and amateur photographers who were invited to submit images to any of the six adult categories including Seasons, Wildlife and People, and two categories specifically for under-18s. The RHS Photographer of the Year, Heather Buckley, and the RHS Young Photographer of the Year, Mateusz Piesiak, were selected from the winning images from each of these categories for their overall artistry, creativity and technical excellence.

Medici Cards, sponsors of the RHS photographic competition will also choose an image from all the competitions entrants to publish as a greeting card.


Notes to editors

For more information please contact Hattie Sherwood in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3126 / 0776 191 7575 or email

For more information and to see the online image gallery, please visit

Notes to Editors:

All finalists’ images are available to download at
Category winners
• Plants: Winner – Heather Buckley
• Details: Winner – Jacky Parker
• People: Winner – Hansa Tangmanpoowadol
• Gardens: Winner – Jonathan Casey
• Wildlife: Winner – Sarah-fiona Helme
• Seasons: Winner – Brett Critchley
• Young Photographer (aged 11–17): Winner – Mateusz Piesiak
• Children's Photographer (under 11): Winner – Genna Vine

RHS Photographer of the Year £1,000
RHS Young Photographer of the Year £250 Wex Photographic vouchers
Adult winners in each category
First prize £350
Second prize £200
Third prize £100

Children and Young Photographers (under 18) in each category
First prize: £100 Wex Photographic vouchers
Second prize: £50 Wex Photographic vouchers
Third prize: £25 Wex Photographic vouchers

The Medici Cards Award
The Medici Cards Award will be decided from all competition entries, and will be presented to the photographer who submits the image best suited for reproduction as a greetings card. Medici Cards will publish the winning image as a greetings card and present the winning photographer with 200 copies of his or her card.

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. 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.

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 209 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

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 RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

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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

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262