The Gardens of the Year Competition 2024, sponsored by Alpen, is now closed for entries. Previous finalists have included flower-filled allotments, tiny urban balconies and sprawling country gardens.


We’ll pick out six finalists, all of whom will be featured in the magazine. Our expert judging panel will then award their Judges’ Choice, while you, the readers, will choose our People’s Choice.

Our competition closed on 10 June 2024. We need between six and 10 images in total from which to do our in initial in-house judging, from which we’ll choose six finalists.

After we’ve chosen our six finalists, we send a professional photographer to capture the essence of your garden to feature in BBC Gardener’s World Magazine – and to help our panel of judges choose an overall winner.

Win a garden makeover

Please note the Gardens of the Year Competition is not the competition to win a £25,000 garden makeover. To enter the garden makeover competition please click here.

Alpen garden makeover competition

What you could win

Explore rich landscapes of spring colour at Japan’s shibazakura flower festival
The winners could explore rich landscapes of spring colour at Japan’s shibazakura flower festival

All six finalists will be awarded a professional photoshoot of their garden, and will be featured in BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine in 2024-25.

More like this

The winner of the Judges’ Choice Award will receive a TUI Travel Gift Card worth £7,000, while the People’s Choice Award recipient will receive a TUI Travel Gift Card worth £3,000, which can be spent on a variety of travel opportunities including flights, hotels and cruises. This gives both winners the chance to design an exciting, future holiday adventure, including destinations at home or abroad, a range of accommodation and transport options, and an itinerary – if they choose – that could include visits to some of the world’s most beautiful parks, gardens and natural wonders. It’s time to tick off that wish list!

About our sponsor

Alpen logo

Alpen started life as the original Swiss- style muesli. By its very nature, Alpen muesli is a signature blend of ingredients to create something wholesome and nutritious* yet incredibly tasty. This remains the inspiration behind all our products. We combine natural, wholesome oats and wheat with delicious fruits and nuts to bring you tasty breakfasts that will give you a positive start to the day or top you up at any time of day. The Alpen muesli range can be found in the cereal aisle.

*Reducing consumption of sodium contributes to the maintenance of normal blood pressure as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle

How to enter

Our competition is open to gardens right across the UK, of all shapes and sizes, from tiny balconies or petite patios to sprawling gardens – so just give it a go!

    • Upload at least six photos and tell us how you created your garden.
    • Choose photos that show broad areas of your garden, not individual plants.
    • Send photos that show the garden at its best – these could be from last summer.
    • We’d like to see a photo of the garden before you transformed it.
    • Plus a photo of you in your garden.

Enter by 11.59pm on 10 June 2024. You will NOT receive an email confirmation of your entry. If your garden is selected as a finalist, we will contact you in June to arrange a date for photography, which must be completed by late August.

What we’re looking for

The initial selection criteria are simple and likely in line with how you’ve put your garden together anyway, but as a heads-up we’re looking for creative use of the available space, how you’ve used, combined and grown your plants, the overall atmosphere created by the garden design or layout, and the use of materials. How you photograph your space is also a major factor and can really help its character to shine through. To help you with the best chance of standing out, here are some winning tips.

Make it personal

Irene Berry's Japanese-themed garden

It’s easy to think you need to follow a formula for a chance of winning, but all our finalists’ gardens have a creative edge, often fuelled by a personal passion, pastime or element of their background. Irene Berry’s Japanese-themed garden in our May 2024 issue is a great example.

Right plant, right place

Great planting combinations are key to a winning garden

There are many ways to plant up a garden but how you edit those choices down, along with great planting combinations, can make all the difference. We’ll also be looking out for that extra commitment to growing, nurturing and maintaining a lush landscape.

Create an atmosphere

Create an atmosphere

Stand back and assess your space for ambience and atmosphere. This usually stems from the overall layout – or the clever design of a small space or balcony – elevated by elements such as cohesive use of materials, sensory planting or calming water features.

Materials matter

Materials matter

We’re lucky gardeners indeed if we have the perfect landscaping materials for every part of our plot. But even if those materials aren’t your favourites, there are lots of clever ways of using plants to soften a space. Just a few well-placed pots can transform the look.

Showcase your strengths

Showcase your strengths

The way you take your pictures makes all the difference. Try framing the most striking views, focusing on something structural and then panning out, shooting when the sun is low, and ensuring your camera is set to hi-res mode. Take lots, and then choose the best.


View full terms and conditions for the competition.