Beautiful drone image is the big winner in RHS garden photography contest

RHS Photographic Competition 2021
Spring from the air by Oliver Dixon. Loseley Park, Surrey (Image credit: Guiseppe Bonali)

The Royal Horticultural Society has announced the winners of the 2021 Photographic Competition revealing a beautifully eclectic selection of images from amateur and professional photographers alike from around the globe.

Making clever use of drone photography to stand out above the thousands of other entries, Oliver Dixon scooped the prestigious title of Overall Winner for his image Spring from the Air. Entered into the Gardens category, the striking aerial shot gives a rarely seen glimpse of the intricate and symmetrically pleasing design of The Flower Garden at Loseley Park, Surrey. Judges praised the astonishing detail of the image, which used texture, color and design to give the photo a tapestry-like feel. 

The UK-based professional photographer used a DJI Mavic 2 Pro to capture the image, which also won the Gardens category in the competition, in early May 2020.

RHS Photographic Competition 2021

U11s category winner Fantasy flowers by Jack Sedgwick. RHS Garden Harlow Carr, North Yorkshire (Image credit: Jack Sedgwick)

Scooping the title of Overall Young Winner was Jack Sedgwick, whose image Fantasy Flowers was entered into the Under 11s category. His clever combination of three photographs taken on a rainy summer’s day at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate stood out to judges for its originality, high degree of creativity and experimentation.

The other category winners

Macro category winner Cactus, by Debbie Armstrong. Bangkok, Thailand (Image credit: Debbie Armstrong)

U18s category winner Phoenix, by Saptarshi Gayen. West Bengal, India (Image credit: Saptarshi Gayen)

Welcoming wildlife category winner Pigeon, by Angela Rogers. Santorini (Image credit: Angela Rogers)

Social media category winner Midsummer bliss, by Claudia Gaupp. Germany (Image credit: Claudia Gaupp)

Plants category winner Nigella flower in evening light, by Molly Hollman. Canterbury, Kent (Image credit: Molly Hollman)

Creative category winner Poppies, by Giuseppe Bonali. Northern Italy (Image credit: Angela Rogers)

Indoor gardening category winner Time with terrarium, by Weerasinghe Tilan. Colombo, Sri Lanka (Image credit: Weerasinghe Tilan)

Entries were judged by garden photographer Richard Bloom, and Editor of RHS magazine The Garden, Chris Young.

The winning photographs are available to view online at and will be on display at all five RHS Gardens in September.  

The 2022 RHS Photographic Competition is now open for entries, welcoming photographers of all levels of expertise. Entry is free and open to everyone, and images can be taken on any photographic device. Maximum five images per person. Entries should be submitted online at by 10am on Tuesday 1 February 2022 (GMT).

Read more:
Best camera drones in 2021

The best macro lenses

14 tips for fantastic flower photography at home

Use long lenses for great floral photos in your garden

Capture flower photos outside with a DIY studio

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.