Preordering Has Begun! For a Limited Time, Welcome a Royal Sussex Trug (three different styles) into your Garden from TSLL
Monday May 1, 2023

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Britain and gardening and the classic trug just go together like a PB&J sandwich. (Or should I say like a scone, clotted cream and strawberry jam. 😉🇬🇧❤️)

More times than I can recall, upon viewing a British cosy mystery set in the countryside, if there is a garden scene, often there will be a trug slung on the lower arm of the gardener or sitting on the ground nearby full of all sorts of garden items – flowers, vegetables, tools, debris, you name it. Even just watching BBC’s weekly Gardeners’ World hosted by Monty Don, you will see him bringing along a large classic trug that has been used for years as it will be well-worn and in deep patina, but doing the required jobs without fail of holding whatever he is digging out of the dirt to harvest.

As a way of announcing and preparing for the arrival of TSLL’s 5th Annual British Week that will begin on Sunday May 21st running through Saturday May 28th, I am excited to make this limited and first-time opportunity available for readers who live in the states, to order a Royal Sussex Trug handmade by Thomas Smith, the original makers of the Royal Sussex Trug, located in Herstmonceux, East Sussex, England (learn more about them here).

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While yes, wherever you live in the world, you can order your Trugs of all styles and designs and sizes from Thomas Smith as they ship internationally; as I live in the states, I have the opportunity to save you a bit of money, have your items shipped to me and charge you a US shipping fee rather than an international fee. Granted, if you already call Britain home, buying directly from Thomas Smith makes absolute sense, but I have heard from readers here in the states who have shared they would be interested in buying one, and so that is what is available for one week only to ALL readers – non-members and members here on TSLL!

AND, if you are a TOP Tier Member, you will receive 10% off the price of your order. (learn more about the many other benefits of becoming a TOP Tier Member here)

Below are a few images I have captured over the years with my Trugs at work out in the garden:

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trugflowerpurplepink
trugsbulbsnorman
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Screenshot-2023-04-30-at-2.17.35-PM

Details about the Royal Sussex Trugs

The classic, Thomas Smith’s trug (aka as the Royal Sussex Trug) began being made in 1829 by, you guessed it, Thomas Smith. The Royal Sussex trug is made of sweet chestnut wood (handle) and re-cycled willow wood reclaimed old cricket bats (body) and put together with copper nails. Simply wash the trugs with soapy water to clean (if you want to) and use them in the garden for everything from dead-heading blooms to picking berries, fruit and vegetables. In other words, let them get dirty, as they are made to be used.

Originally the trug sizes were known from ‘pint’ to ‘bushel’; however, Smith changed the sizes to numerical ordering, as you will see below in TSLL’s offerings available for you to order. They are given a number ranging between 1-8, and that number indicates the length and width. This is standard, and it will be what you see when you are trying to determine which size you are buying.

trugsladder

The legend of the Royal Sussex began to have nation-wide acclaim and recognition in 1851, well after Thomas Smith began selling them, but it was when he brought them to The Great Exhibition held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, and on the first day, “Queen Victoria visited his stand and was so impressed by his product that she ordered some personally as gifts for members of the Royal Family. Well, with that sort of patronage Thomas was bound to win!!! Legend has it that when he returned to his workshops in Herstmonceux, mindful of the debt which he owed to Queen Victoria for his new found patronage, he made the Trugs entirely by himself. He then walked the 60 miles to Buckingham Palace in London, with his brother, pushing a handcart to deliver his prized Trugs in pristine condition.” He continued to sell more Trugs to Queen Victoria because he was awarded the Royal Warrant, hence the term Royal Sussex Trug. Thomas was also awarded a Gold Medal and Certificate of Merit at the show and the Certificate is still on display in Thomas SMith’s shop in Herstmonceux today.


So now, let’s take a look at what TSLL’s has available for you to order. You can explore ALL of the sizes and styles Thomas Smith makes available on their website here, but what you see below is what I am able to ship to me here in the states.

Trugs Available for Pre-Order from TSLL

The Traditional Royal Sussex Trug (three sizes)

SIZE # (name)Measurements$ Price
#415″ x 8″$185
#620″ x 11″$230
#722″ x 12″$245
~the prices listed above do not include shipping~

Seen in the first image are my size #4, traditional trug, and in the second image, my size #7

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Size 4, traditional trug

Size 7, traditional trug

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~Trug, size 7 on the left; size 4 on the right~

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The Flower Royal Sussex Trug (three sizes)

~A Note to TOP Tier Members: During TSLL’s 5th Annual British week (in three short weeks!), one Flower Trug, size 2, will be given away to a lucky TOP Tier Member as one of the six giveaways.

SIZE # (name)Measurements$ Price
#120″ x 11″$230
#222″ x 12″$240
#326″ x 14″$270
~the prices listed above do not include shipping~

This style is designed to have lower sides so that the flowers lay comfortably and as flat as possible as to protect the flowers from bending or the blooms popping off.

flowertrug

trugdaffodilscentered

Size #2, Flower Trug

trugsdaffodilsNelle


The Royal Sussex Oval Trug

While I do not have an oval trug, this style is ideal for placing vegetables in after harvest as it has tall sides and therefore a deep belly for holding its contents.

SIZE # (name)Measurements$ Price
#313.5″ x 8″$170
#415″ x 8″$190
#620″ x 11″$230
~the prices listed above do not include shipping~


Other details to note about your Trug:

  • Each trug is dated and signed on the bottom underside (see the image below) as well as stamped from the Thomas Smith Royal Sussex Trug compay
  • Super light-weight, even my #7 is as light as paper which means the only thing that causes it to feel weighty are the contents I place inside.
  • The feet make these garden holders sturdy and easy to place anywhere you may find yourself in your garden (notice my placement on the rockery in the final image of this post), trusting that it will not slide or flip-over.
  • They are meant to be used!
    • As you can see based on the photos below (second one) the first two Trugs, which I have now had for three years, are used in the garden each year, and they continue to do their job well, just now with a little more patina to them. 🙂

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How to place your Pre-order

  • Place and pay for your preorder by Sunday May 7th
  • 1ST STEP:
    • Decide which style(s) and which sizes(s) you want:
      • STYLES: Traditional, Flower or Oval
      • SIZES: the #s which equate to the measurements
  • 2ND STEP:
    • Email Shannon directly (shannon@thesimplyluxuriouslife.com) and include the following information:
      • Shipping address (so I can calculate your exact shipping & handling cost)
      • The style(s) and size(s) of the trug(s) you want
      • If you are a TOP Tier Member, email me using your membership account email, and please state, “I am an Active TOP Tier Member.”
        • You will receive 10% off the total price of your Trugs (not your shipping).
  • 3RD STEP:
    • I will calculate your shipping cost, and email you back with the total price contained in an Invoice from PayPal.
    • If the price works for you, pay the invoice by May 7th.
      • If I do not receive payment by the end of the day on May 7th, you will not be able to preorder a trug as I need to place the order for all Trugs as soon as possible to ensure arrive in time for British Week.
      • Thank you for understanding the short window for preordering.
  • That’s it!

Once you have paid your invoice, I will be placing my order the following week (May 8-12th) and the Trugs should arrive at Le Papillon (Oregon) the week of British Week, which means I will be shipping your Trugs to you that week so you will to hopefully have them to you by the first of June so you a begin the gardening summer season for harvesting, creating bouquets from your garden, dead-heading and generally just pottering about with your new trug in tow. ☺️

~If you have any other questions, you can ask them in the comments’ section below or include them with your order when you email me with the above requested information.

As this is the first time I have made this opportunity available, I will see how it goes, but if it goes well, look for this opportunity to return each year, once a year, as we lead up to the Annual TSLL British Week each May so you too can begin your own collection of Royal Sussex Trugs!

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Size #4 of the Traditional Trug

If you too are an Anglophile like so many TSLL readers, be sure to stop by during the third full week in May to celebrate all things British! Learn more about this Annual event, the second most popular week on the blog here.

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5 thoughts on “Preordering Has Begun! For a Limited Time, Welcome a Royal Sussex Trug (three different styles) into your Garden from TSLL

  1. Cannot agree more with the joy of using a trug.
    Mine adds an extra layer of aesthetic joy!
    Such a great idea to make them available through TSLL
    Sarah

  2. Your photos are quite inspirational, Shannon! Reminding us Spring (with a capital S is here)!

    The books are worth investigating, as well. Thank you for a thoughtful Cuppa,
    Joan

  3. Good Afternoon,
    I purchased the traditional trug, after seeing yours. I love it. But I’ve never used it for its intended purpose. I have it in my small office/library (all my gardening books are on a book shelf, along with years of garden journals). I put a pretty pair of new/clean garden gloves in it, along with that years garden catalogs.So it’s a magazine rack …of sorts.
    Yup. I love the way it looks.
    Happy gardening everyone, Emilie

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