Lack of sponsorship hits Chelsea Flower Show

The global economic downturn has been blamed for the decision of several sponsors to withdraw their support from the Chelsea Flower Show.

A number of established gardeners have been unable to secure the backing of major companies this year, meaning there will be just 13 show gardens at the 2009 show – down from a record of 22 in 2008.

Marks & Spencer is one of the firms not sponsoring a show garden this year, while Lloyds Banking Group has chosen to scale down its involvement in the event.

However, Chelsea Flower Show manager Alex Baulkwill believes the event will still have plenty to offer visitors.

"For many, the Great Pavilion is what Chelsea is all about and 2009 wont disappoint with old favourites, first-time exhibitors and specialist nurseries creating some 110 floral displays to fill the centrepiece of the show with the sights, smells and vibrant colours that it is renowned for," he commented.

Further good news is provided by the fact that tickets for the event, which takes place from May 19th to 23rd, are said to be selling well.

Many of the prize-winning fruit and vegetables seen at the Chelsea Flower Show are grown with the help of a greenhouse.