AN IMAGE of an olive tree surrounded by tulips, taken by a Dorset photographer, has beaten thousands of entries from around the world to win a prestigious accolade.

Other top pictures featured in this year’s Royal Horticultural Society’s annual photographic competition included a leaping mouse, a striking shot of the skeleton of a tree in a snowy landscape, and close-ups of insects on plants.

The winning image was taken by Josie Elias, from Sherborne, who won £1,000 for her picture.

She said she stumbled on the Iris Garden at Plantas Distintas in Marnes, Spain, where the shot was taken, by chance.

“I was particularly intrigued by the contrast of the gnarled old olive tree and colourful spring flowers.

“I felt I had to capture the scene and was very encouraged by the nursery owners to enter the photograph into the RHS competition.

“I am very excited and honoured to have won.”