In pictures: Beautiful gardens around the world

In pictures: Beautiful gardens around the world

The winners of the latest International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPY) have been announced, and the results are beautiful.

Dennis Frates gained top prize in the "wildflower landscapes" category with this "astounding" image, called Penstemon Sunrise, taken in Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

"Penstemon only grows in a very few isolated spots around Crater Lake," says Dennis. " Of course every year is different, but with some scouting you can find small patches like this one. Often they don't always fit into a good composition, but this location had the flowers, lake and sunrise visible together.... I was excited to find an image that showed three aspects altogether."

Philip Smith, IGPY director, said the image was technically superb. "The composition is wonderfully balanced... The light on the rock is what creates the magic. The photographer has waited for exactly the right moment on the right day and he has made a huge effort to be in the right place... This image is a fantastic example of the sheer tenacity and adaptability of plant life."

Click on the image below to see more winning entries.

Winners of the International Garden Photographer of the year 2013
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In pictures: Beautiful gardens around the world

Category winner: 'The beauty of plants'. Photographer Debbie Hartley, who took this image while visiting the annual 'Floriade' event, says: "The dogwood tree grows freely in the park. I was attracted to the masses of beautiful pink flowers. I looked up and loved the contrast of the pink against the blue sky. It pays to look up!"

Category winner: 'Beautiful gardens'. Winning photographer Nic Barlow was visiting Chateau de la Ballue where he saw this sunrise over the gardens. " I loved the formal topiary and revisited many times," he said.

Category winner: 'New shoots.' Photographer Alan Gregg says: "This is an image of the opening bud of a Welsh Poppy, taken in early morning light. A new day brings new life."

Category winner: 'Wildlife in the garden'. Photographer Liam Marsh says: "In this photograph a man is searching for snails by torchlight in the glow of his house. It's really a scene from the point of view of the snail and happens in gardens every night across the country.... I had to wait for a perfectly clear night with a deep blue sky... Credit also needs to go to the snail that perfected the correct pose at the right time." 

Category winner: 'Breathing spaces' (sponsored by The National Trust). Photographer Rob Hunt says: "At the end of a bleak January day, kite flying was perfect for working up an appetite. The afternoon light was beautiful and the wind was biting."

Category winner: 'Greening the city'. This photo was taken at Elephant and Castle, London, which is threatened by developers. Photographer Paul Debois says: "The estate is now condemned but it has over 200 trees. There is now a battle between the developers and locals, who will accept redevelopment provided the trees are left in place. It is a small natural haven in an area subjet to heavy urban development. There is a real danger that it could be completely destroyed."

Category: Young GPOTY. Samuel Aron, aged 14, says: "I took this shot in the winter. I found that the evening light really brought out the bird's colours and its feather detail. These birds have always been hard to photograph due to their annoying habit of always moving... I was really pleased when I got this shot."

Category winner: 'Portfolios'. Photographer Paul Harcourt Davies says: "I am lucky that insecticides and pesticides were never used here, and each day brings something small of interest... Serendipity played a large part."

Category winner: 'European garden photography.' Photographer Gary Rogers says: "I shot this photograph on a beautiful spring afternoon in one of my favourite gardens... Rolf Walter, the owner, has spent years growing and trimming his box plants and this is just a small corner of his fantastic garden. I was inspired by the light at this very moment."

Overall winner and category winner: 'Wildflower landscapes'. Photographer Dennis Frates says: "The wind here was a problem... I had to wait a good deal of time for it to stop moving the flowers, which made me nervous, thinking I would miss the sunrise."

Category: 'Parques de Sintra'. Winner Cleon Santos says: "I was trying to find a different view of this small waterfall... I ended up with this photo showing the water running into the lake, the clouds reflected in the water. Both plants are fairly normal in the Sintra environment: what is special in this is the location, one on top of an old tree just above the waterfall and the other complementing the environment."

Category winner: 'Trees, woods and forests'. Photographer Gloria King says: "I travelled from Canada to China, and this visit included a three-day stay in Huangshan... We were treated to a spectacular display of the sun rising over the mountains and flowing mist."


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