Glorious photos of garden-variety wildlife vie for Kew prize

These highlights of the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition feature a beautiful ant rendezvous and a “melancholy” butterfly


9 February 2022

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Pepe Badia Marrero/IGPOTY

THIS vibrant selection of images showcasing curiosities and beauties of nature features some of the top entries in this year’s International Garden Photographer of the Year competition, organised by London’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The competition extends beyond gardens, however. The photo above is by one of the finalists, Pepe Badia Marrero, showing a digger wasp hanging onto a reed in Spain’s Els Muntanyans coastal nature reserve. Spray from a sprinkler adds a touch of sparkle.

Below is a shot of a brown butterfly, taken in Zhejiang province, China, by another finalist, Yong Miao. For the photographer, the butterfly brought to mind “a sad dancer preparing to perform on stage”.

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Yong Miao/IGPOTY

Next is a highly commended entry by Raoul Slater of an ibis carrying jacaranda flowers. The image, captured at the Lake Alford Recreational Park in Gympie, Queensland, Australia, highlights how the nesting of the ibises coincides with the flowering of jacarandas in the city.

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Raoul Slater/IGPOTY

Finally, Diana Chan’s below shot of two ants in a post-rain rendezvous in Kowloon, Hong Kong, shown at bottom right, was also highly commended. The emerald-like green blobs are the result of light from vegetation refracted through water.

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Diana Chan/IGPOTY

All of the winning and finalist images from the competition’s various categories are being exhibited online indefinitely at, and at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, until 6 March.

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