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Competition Winners 2020

These are the results for the 2020 HPS photographic competition! While 2020 has been a miserable year on so many levels, clearly, gardening has been the big exception. In total, 43 people have submitted a total of 151 pictures which is twice as many people as last year. A big thank you to everone who has submitted pictures. We thought that this year, the individual plant category especially was of extremely high standard and there must have been about 10 pictures we thought could have made it into the top 3. Unfortunately, I received very few entries in the children category. I suspect this may have a lot to do with the fact grandchildren couldn't visit their grandparents as much this year. Due to Covid, the judging couldn't happen together so had to happen via email. This is certainly not as much fun as one of the greatest joys of judging is actually the disagreements! Not only that, one of the judges couldn't make it at the last minute so we had to make it more of a family event. A big thank you goes to Jianhua Liu for judging again this year.

Click on each image to see it in high resolution

Category 1: Individual hardy perennial - whole plant or close-up

1. Robert Hinchcliffe, Centaurea montana 'Purple Heart'

This is what macro photography is all about! While Centaurea montana 'Purple Heart' is already a beatiful flower, this picture elevates it to a different level. The lighting is perfect throughout the picture, the green background complements the colour of the plant, the very narrow depth of field draws in the eye but also gives the edges a very soft feeling. Technically, this is very difficult to achieve so a worthy winner!


2. Louise Sims, Rosa 'Cecile Brunner'

This is a mesmerising picture. The pink petals of the rose and the spider web are beautifully backlit. The ray of sunshine look like the rose is about to give a performance in a theatre. There are no further distractions which accentuates the beauty of this picture further. I like it when pictures seem to try to tell a story and this rose seem to be trying to tell a lot of stories. I wouldn't be surprised if it could sing a beautiful aria too!

3. Aidan Putland, Anemone nemorosa

Most people enjoy this wood anemone as part of a beautiful carpet of flowers. It takes a change of mindset to actually view this as a beautiful individual flower, go low on the ground to watch and take a picture where you can see only a few flowers. Taking pictures in woodlands is never easy and it looks like this picture may be taken with a heavily laden sky overhead. But it is exactly this lack of direct light which makes this picture and flower stand out. You can simply feel the forest around you.


Category 2: Plant grouping, border, garden view or HPS event

1. Alan Wilson, Seat to dream on

This is a perfect blend of colours: the green leaves blend in very well with the colour of the wall and the wall blends in with the wood of the seat. The wood in itself blends in with the metal of the back and the light pink of the flowers blends in with the bleached wood. The picture was also taken at the right time of the day before the sun became too harsh and gives the picture a very soft feeling. It's a picture that makes you ask questions which is what we liked: how long has the seat been there, who was the smith who created the beautiful metal roses, when was the last time somebody sat on this bench, were the flowers and bench put there on purpose, ...

2. Helen Ostrycharz, Foxgloves (taken in Sterlingshire during HPS event)

This is a picture that drew us in more and more. The two words that came back over and over again with this picture was 'I wonder...'. I wonder how long that tree has been there, I wonder what sort of weather it had to endure in its lifetime, I wonder what's behind the hedge, I wonder what's lurking between the foxgloves and ferns, ... The picture has a very ancient feeling to it. As if it has been like this for hundreds, if not thousands of years and we were given the priviledge to have a look.

3. Nadine Mitschunas, Misty morning

I feel cold just looking at this picture. But cold in a good way! This time in the morning and time of the year, when the sun shines through the morning fog, is my absolute favourite. No flowers are given an advantage over others as later in the day, the sun seems to favour the colourful ones. It's a great equaliser which is also why the grasses suddenly come into themselves. I can also just about see a path running through the middle and you wonder where the path leads us to. But it's also a picture of anticipation what the rest of the day will give because you can see it will be a wonderful day.


Category 3, Children

1. Daniel McGrail, 13y, Sorbus scalaris

We loved the contrast of shape and colour. The angle and composition of the shot is excellent as it draws your eye to the detail and then up and up it goes without compromising the background. This is something adults could learn from: adults usually take picture looking down so there is nowhere else to go but children have a unique point of view as they often need to look up which allows the eye to look further and further.

2. Sophie Wilson, 9y, I love trees

Pictures like this makes you want to put on your boots and go for a walk in the forest. You already seem to know when the best forest pictures can be taken and that's early in the morning when the shadow of the trees are long, like giants about to walk away as soon as you look the other way.

3. Mya Jassim, 7y, Like a forest in the rain

The title of your picture certainly put a smile on my face. It does indeed look like a picture of a forest (almost like palm trees!) on a very damp day. Well done for seeing this from a different point of view and for getting out on a day that looked like I'd rather stay indoors.


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