By Max Clarke
The Royal Horticultural Society will tomorrow open their prestigious Chelsea Flower Show to international attention.
While the show is no stranger to large sums of money, with individual tickets selling for hundreds of pounds, the show has increasingly found itself a focus for the interest of ‘big business’.
This year, the RHS is again actively encouraging investors, selling the show as a unique marketing opportunity to target an affluent clientele.
This has prompted fierce discussion, with advocates saying that the marriage of business and gardening is nothing new and that the show would not function without corporate sponsorship.
Opponents, however, blast what they deem the intrusion of the profit motive into what should in essence be about the beauty of the gardens in their own right, and not about the money making potential.
The week’s event is in itself sponsored by M&G Investments, while every garden in the show is individually sponsored as corporations vie for opportunity to tap into Britain’s £9 billion gardening industry.