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International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition at Kew Gardens

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by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Event:
Kew Gardens is definitely the place to come for your outdoors fix of tree lined vistas, fields of bluebells and crocuses, and centenarian greenhouses filled with plants collected all over the world. And until the end of September when you come to Kew Gardens you can see all four seasons all in one day. This is not a dig at "The Great British Summer", it's a slightly cryptic introduction to the International Garden Photographer of the Year Competition Exhibition.

It might seem incongruous to suggest you go to one of Britain's best gardens to stand looking at photos, but the photos are arranged on stands in the great outdoors, so one minute you're admiring the stillness of a wonderful snow coated winter garden, and the next you're looking beyond the photo in front of you at an avenue of great trees leading towards the pagoda, one of Kew Garden's follys.

The seasons are worth mentioning because the colours their changing brings out in nature are one of the most joyfully surprising things about this exhibition. That it's an international competition adds even more colour to the brimming palate, with all the sienna and ochre shades of America's west added to the pleasant, rolling greens of the UK and Ireland and the moistly, fibrous tones of those exotic orchids found in the rainforests of Borneo.

As well as grouping the submissions by seasons, the photographers who enter, both professional and amateur, have to choose the category their photo is placed in. The choices are Plant Portraits, Garden Views, Wildlife in the Garden, People in the Garden, the Edible Garden and Trees, and there are winners in each category as well as an over all winner - which this year has been judged the best of about 20,000 entries. But as with anything artistic it's really in the appreciating eye of the beholder. And if you don't see something you like then take a look around Kew Gardens and compose your own photographs to enter next year. It's only 10 to enter and some of the Kew peacocks are in mint condition and looking very photogenic...

The exhibition runs until 26th September 2010
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Why? It's the best of the great outdoors displayed in the best of the great outdoors.
When: Kew Gardens are open from 9:30, the exhibition runs until the 26th of September
Where: Kew Gardens Road, Richmond, nearest tube station Kew Gardens
Cost: Adults 13.50, Concessions 11.50, Children FREE
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