Duel and the Crown - The Hillier Chelsea Exhibit 2012
Duel and the Crown - The Hillier Chelsea Exhibit 2012
Two top British fencers clashed swords amongst the phormiums and the cordylines at Hillier Nurseries this week in a sneak preview of „Duel and the Crown?, the Hillier Chelsea Exhibit 2012, sponsored by Beazley British Fencing.

Ben Peggs and Marcus Mepstead of the British international fencing squad immersed themselves in the world of gardening at the UK?s largest tree and plant nursery in Hampshire. Wearing the iconic Union Jack fencing masks, they fenced through the glasshouses, tended the plants and caught up on the best in gardening magazines.

At the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May, the Hillier Exhibit will be marking the Queen?s Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 with a spectacular garden exhibit inspired by the Olympic sport of fencing. It will feature live fencing displays by members of the Beazley British Fencing team, and celebrate the return of fencing to Ranelagh Gardens for the first time in over 70 years.

Competitive fencing was often staged in garden settings, and Ranelagh Gardens, the annual site of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, were used as an outdoor venue for Epee Club tournaments until the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1932 Ranelagh presented the Epee Club with the “Ranelagh Cup”, which has been fought for annually ever since in the grounds of the Hurlingham Club.

The Hillier exhibit is also a tribute to Her Majesty the Queen, the Patron of British Fencing, as the nation prepares to celebrate the Queen?s Diamond Jubilee just a week after the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

A proudly British company and holder of 66 consecutive Chelsea Gold medals to date, Hillier Nurseries have supplied nearly 4000 British-grown trees to the Olympic Park for London 2012 and is rooting for Team GB.

For their part, the Beazley British Fencing team will be hoping that the success of Hillier Nurseries at Chelsea will rub off, inspiring them to medal glory at London 2012.