Bibury Gardening Club photographic competition: the results are in!

We asked our members to submit pictures of their gardens this summer – the Summer of Lockdown. Originally, there were three categories: single flower or plant, container, or general view of the garden.

Sadly, we didn't have many entries, so we combined the categories and asked Bibury resident Glynis Cox, a photographic stylist, to do the judging. The photographs were sent to Glyn without any identification apart from a simple tag (white clematis, rose arch etc) so that we could both be sure we were talking about the same picture when Glyn came to select the winners.

First, Glyn and I both wanted to make general points about photographing your garden. 

1 Try to get the light right. Low sunshine is better than midday sunshine, so in high summer go out early in the morning or in the evening. The picture below was taken in late summer, in the afternoon, so the sun catches the drifts of flowering grasses and makes them glow.

2 A professional garden photographer once told me: "Your best zoom lens is your leg!" Don't worry about macro settings etc, just get up close to the plant or flower, as here. This beautiful rose was photographed by Val Smith.

3 Think about what else is in the picture if you are photographing a general view. Boundaries are lovely if they are weathered wood or mossy stone, not so good if they are a barbed-wire fence or next door's shed or greenhouse. Keep an eye open for dog bowls/toys, barrows, and empty plant pots. When I took the picture below, I hadn't noticed the wheelie bin and the wheelbarrow to the right of the picture. OK, I could crop them off, or I could argue that it's a portrait of working in the garden in autumn, but I think it would be nicer if they weren't there. I thought it would be artistic to frame the picture with the beech leaves, but one branch looks as if it is coming out of the chimney of the house opposite me. 

Anyway, that's enough tutorial. Here are the winners, who will each receive a garden centre voucher.


Val Smith, white clematis (variety not named), taken in April

Glyn said: "I just loved the light on the white flowers, and the way the detail of the weathered rustic trellis was so clear. It made me feel happy just to look at it."


Angela Alderton, Clematis 'H F Young', taken in May

Glyn said: "Again, the light was wonderful, and I liked the contrast between the flowers and the painted door. There was planting at the base as well, which meant there was something of interest in every bit of the photograph."


Halina Tipper, summer container

Glyn said: "Loved the view in the background and the way the container was packed with colourful plants."


Rosalyn Hawkins, garden border in spring

Glyn said: "There's a bit of slug damage in the foreground, and the tulip has gone over. But the wallflowers and the cornflowers provide a colourful portrait of a traditional cottage garden."

Many congratulations to the winners, who will received garden centre vouchers. And well done everyone who entered. I've posted the rest of the entries below so everyone can see them.

Rosalyn Hawkins, spring blossom

Rosalyn Hawkins, wallflowers and cornflowers (Centaurea montana)

Rosalyn Hawkins, Ligularia dentata 'Pandora' in a container

Mary Ludbrook, pink roses

Mary Ludbrook, rose arch

Angela Alderton, Rosa filipes 'Kiftsgate'

George Blackwell, Begonia 'Golden Hind'

George Blackwell, Begonia 'NonStop Appleblossom'


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