These award-winning photos capture the drama of Earth's garden

'The Vaia Storm'

See the winners of the International Garden Photographer of the Year contest.

From dreamy garden fish ponds to fields of bright flowers, the winners in this year's International Garden Photographer of the Year competition feature riveting images of gardens, plants and flowers from around the world.

Now in its 13th year, the competition attracts up to 20,000 entries from professional and amateur photographers. There are nine categories including popular favorites such as The Beauty of Plants, Beautiful Gardens and Abstract Views.

The competition is supported by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London.

This year's overall winner, shown above, is "The Vaia Storm" by Albert Ceolan. The photo was shot in the Dolomites in Italy.

"This photograph documents the natural destruction of pine forest by storm 'Vaia' in late October 2018," Ceolan explains. "Wind speeds peaked at over 120mph, which led to the felling of over 14 million trees and claimed 17 human lives. In the background stands the magnificent Mount Catinaccio, bearing witness to the storm at just under 3,000 meters high."

The photo also won in the Plants & Planets category.

"Albert has documented a scene which is simultaneously shocking as it is well composed. The photo cleverly shows both the destruction and the remaining trees symbolizing hope," says competition head judge Tyrone McGlinchey.

"IGPOTY introduced the new category 'Plants & Planet' for this very reason to stimulate discussion and arouse awareness of changing global weather and our current climate emergency."

Here's a look at the rest of the competition winners.

Abstract Views

'Fish Pond Fantasy''Fish Pond Fantasy'

"Scarborough Art Gallery was reflected in the garden's fish pond, which created an intriguing mix of hard and fluid surfaces and various textures, overlaid by the shapes of pondweed and fishes.

"I converted the image to negative color to further enhance the dreamlike nature of the image."

—Maggie Lambert

Beautiful Gardens

'Summer Reverie''Summer Reverie'

"Echinacea 'Salsa Red' were the brilliant red stars of this beautiful summer palette of colors taken at the gardens of the New Forest Lavender Farm. I captured a double exposure to soften the grasses and create an evocative botanical daydream."

—Jacky Parker

Breathing Spaces

'Larch Basin Dawn''Larch Basin Dawn'

"The light of dawn on the horizon was enough to make the burnt autumn color of the Larix (larch) trees in the North Cascades Mountains glow."

—Thorsten Scheuermann

Greening the City


Seattle illuminating the highways and making the intertwined trees and foliage glow across the city."

—Brandon Yoshizawa

The Beauty of Plants

'Autumn Rudbeckia''Autumn Rudbeckia'

"I saw this beautiful, late summer flowering Rudbeckia at the New Forest Lavender Gardens in Landford, Salisbury and knew I had to capture it - its orange color perfectly reflected the beginning of autumn."

—Jacky Parker

Trees, Woods & Forests

'Swamp Elder''Swamp Elder'

"A stately Taxodium distichum (swamp cypress) tree stood at home on a calm, autumn afternoon in the wetlands surrounded by a ring of their characteristic roots or as I like to call them - knees above water."

—Thorsten Scheuermann

Wildflower Landscapes

'The Beauty of Spring''The Beauty of Spring'

"The Napahai Nature Reserve, which at an altitude of around 3,300 meters above sea level, is a winter resting spot for tens of thousands of migratory birds as well as a summer pasture for herdsmen.

"It was spring when I captured this pastoral scene full of colorful wildflowers, shapes and textures."

—Zhigang Li

Wildlife in the Garden

'Sweat Bee''Sweat Bee'

"This bee was standing on the anther of a Lilium flower and the longer it stayed, the more it became clothed in the red grains of pollen.

"Augochlorella aurata are commonly known as sweat bees and reach up to 7mm in length. Most of these bees are attracted to the sweat from human skin (possibly seeking salt), and will sting if provoked."

—Jim Turner


By Mary Jo DiLonardo / Senior writer and editor at MNN

Mary Jo DiLonardo is a senior writer and editor at MNN. She has covered health, education, parenting, pets and more for media outlets such as WebMD and Atlanta magazine, and has contributed to, Ladies Home Journal, Parents and Family Fun magazines. She wrote a family travel book for Random House and worked on several national radio shows.



(Source:; March 11, 2020;
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