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Blooming ‘eck! The City takes Chelsea Flower Show by storm

Money doesn’t grow on trees, although fund managers and bankers certainly aren’t averse to lurking about in the odd azalea bush judging by the sponsorship line-up at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The annual floral spectacular for 2014 throws open its doors to the public tomorrow. What’s particularly eye-catching is the number of financial services companies lending their sponsorship weight to this year’s event which, as always, takes place in the grounds of the Royal Hospital in London’s über-chic SW3 postcode.

If your aim is to reinforce the notion of growing client money, or nurturing talent for the future, Chelsea’s easily on a par nowadays with more traditional City schmoozing haunts such as Twickenham for rugby, or Cheltenham for horse racing.

The flower show’s overall sponsor is fund manager M&G Investments, a relationship which dates back to 2010 (long before the more recent rebound in global stock markets) and is now due to extend through to 2017. Jacqui Haskins, marketing director at M&G, says the company’s brand awareness has gone from strength-to-strength with the Chelsea connection, a relationship that also “helps the public have a better understanding of who we are and what we do”.

M&G is actually one of several financial institutions in the hunt for a medal-winning performance from its ‘show garden’ this year. Rivals include fellow fund management and financial planning firm, Brewin Dolphin, and the Royal Bank of Canada‘s Waterscape garden.

Elsewhere the show also features the Extending Space garden supported by Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, while the WellChild Garden has been created as part of a really worthwhile cause backed by asset management company CQS in association with 100 Women in Hedge Funds. With the latter, once the show’s come to an end the garden is being transported to the Brook Special Primary School in North London for pupils to enjoy.