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The Sussex trug, originally called the trog originates back to 1829 in Herstmonceux, England.
Designed by Thomas Smith based on the idea of an old Anglo-Saxon product known as the trog, he modernized it and called the wooden vessel that became light and more versatile the trug.
The trug was used on farms in the Sussex area to measure grain, beer and milk. They came in several sizes as to designate several ways of measuring – pints, gallons and bushels.
But it was in 1851 when Thomas Smith traveled to London to visit and display his trug (made of chestnut and willow woods) at the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park where the Crystal Palace was built that changed the trug’s future.
Enter Queen Victoria.
Upon visiting the show on the first day, she became quite intrigued and interested in Smith’s Trugs. So much so, she ordered several as gifts for members of the Royal Household. Ever since this fateful day, the trugs, these Sussex trugs, have become known well-beyond the county of Sussex and have been internationally recognized.
The successor of Thomas Smith Esq. is the Cuckmere Trug Company, still based in Herstmonceux, Sussex. And the trug seen above (on the left) is one of their famed and beloved items.
Handmade, in their own Sussex workshops, signed, stamped and dated as to its authenticity, to have one of one’s own is to have a piece of British history. (Shop for all different sizes for vegetables, flowers, cucumbers, wine and more here.)
Four of many different sizes, each made of willow and chestnut wood.
Made with copper nails and willow and chestnut wood, each detail is thoughtful, intentional and creates an extremely sturdy and well-made basket. And that’s just it – they are made to be used. They will last. While you may be tempted to keep them inside and only use them as decoration, I would encourage strongly you to get them dirty, place actual plants and flowers cut or pulled from the earth in your garden. Water is fine as it will add to the patina. Enjoy for a lifetime and let the trug tell a story of your gardening journey, your journey working and appreeciating and savoring Mother Nature.
Currently Thomas Smith, where these Royal Sussex Trugs are made and shipped from is not shipping to the United States due to our current situation. This is temporary; however, I was lucky enough to find size four available prior to the shutdown and have one available for a lucky winner of today’s giveaway.
Today, I am offering TWO giveaways. One is, until now, unannounced.
As you can see below and at the top of the post, there are two trugs. The one on the left is the true Royal Sussex trug. It measures 15″ x 7″ and can hold one gallon (valued at @ $84). The trug on the right is made right here in Oregon. Barber’s Myrtlewood Baskets. In fact I spoke with the small business directly which is located in Coos Bay, and they handmade this particular basket just a day before it was shipped.
This large trug made of Myrtlewood measures 20″x 12″ with a 10″ handle. Made with copper nails just as the original Royal Sussex Trugs are, this is also an extremely sturdy basket. Myrtlewood, in case you have not heard of it before, is indigenous to a small area in Pacific Northwest and is rare and difficult to find. The wood is durable and strong, and beautiful as you can see when finished and made into a basket.
I wanted to showcase both the original Royal Sussex Trug and the Myrtlewood Trug so you can learn of the original of this traditional garden basket to welcome into your everyday garden routine, but also, especially for fellow Oregonians and Pacific Northwesterners, introduce you to a local business that makes a gorgeous English-inspired product right in your own backyard.
Have a look at more images of each of the trugs.
A single piece of wood wraps around as the handle.
Two “feet” run across the entire bottom horizonally to secure the basket and enable it to sit securely.
Copper nails to secure the basket.
Copper staples as well.
Now to the giveaway. So how is going to work?
Well, this is a giveaway for the supporters and engagers of TSLL community.
What does that mean? ONE trug basket will go to a TSLL reader who has commented at least once prior to this post (not for a giveaway) and contributed positively to TSLL community. Whether something as simple as saying hello and thank you, sharing a detailed comment or even gentle constructive criticism to improve the blog, but also remembering the creators (okay, me) are human, if you have made at least one of these comments since the founding of the blog in 2009 (I can quickly check and confirm on my end so long as you use the same email address), you may enter to win one of the trugs. The SECOND trug basket will go exclusively to an AD-FREE SUBSCRIBER (must be a paid subscriber by Friday May 22, 2020). Whether you are a monthly or yearly subscriber, you may enter the giveaway.
I wanted to offer a giveaway as a way of thanking the many hundreds of thousands of readers who over the years have chosen to positively and civilly engage in conversation here on TSLL. It is becoming a more common practice to do away with the comment sections on blogs, but I have not chosen to do this as I can honestly say, the civil engagement is de rigueur. Over the past 10 years I have deleted maybe 1-2 comments each year that were hurtful or inapprioriate (from actual people, not bots) which speaks highly of the quality of community you all bring to this space. For that practice and elevated discourse, I am sincerely deeply grateful. Thank you.
I know MANY readers of the blog do not comment (I myself am not a big commenter on other blogs, but I do enjoy many blogs immensely); however, that is why I am opening up this window to at any time in the past 10 years. Life gets busy. You stop by the blog to enjoy, not to have a conversation but rather to step away from whatever moment you wish to take a breath from. Please know, I completely understand this and do not expect comments on most posts as they are written to be enjoyed, thought-provoking, motivating or to introduce something of interest. In offering this opportunity, I wanted to encourage you should you ever be compelled and inspired to comment and let you know this is a welcoming, kind, intelligent, open-minded community, and you can safely engage. If something speaks to you, if something sparks an idea, a memory, anything that just grabs you, I hope you feel comfortable to share as we move foward. I monitor every comment and do my best to continue to create a space readers feel at ease being a part of. So thank you, and good luck as you enter today’s giveaway.
Secondarily, but just as importantly, the Ad-Free Subscribers who support the blog monetarily with their regular monthly and yearly subscription dues – I am tremendously grateful for your choice to support the content on this blog. More than 100 TSLL readers have chosen since this opportunity began to support the blog, and in so doing enjoy a blog reading experience which is more enjoyable and offers quicker load-times on any of your devices (as well as exclusive giveaways during each of TSLL’s themed weeks during the year – French and British, such as this on).
If you have been considering supporting TSLL blog as you find yourself visiting the blog on a regular basis, now is a GREAT time to become a subscriber as I am offering two different opportunities: one will give you a reduced rate for the duration of your continued subscription and the other will give you one month free of TSLL ad-free reading (you will not be able to enter today’s giveaway if you choose this option).
- Monthly Ad-Free Subscription
- Enjoy the first month FREE, when you subscribe during British Week. Each following month the regular $6.99/mo will be charged to the account you register with. Use the promo code ONEFREEMONTH
- If you would like to enter today’s giveaway and would like the monthly option, simply do not use the promo code, and you will be automatically entered.
- Yearly Ad-Free Subscription – The BEST MONEY SAVING DEAL
- Pay only $60/year (
regularly $69.99/yr), which breaks down to $5/mo when you use the promo code YEAR60Ad. (you will automaticaly be entered into today’s giveaway)
- Pay only $60/year (
- Learn more about TSLL’s Ad-Free reading experience in this post.
- REMEMBER, if you choose to be an ad-free subscriber, once you have paid, you STILL must sign-in each time you visit the blog in order to enjoy reading ad.
- If you would like to purchase your own Trug, you can find the links to both companies in TSLL’s Shop in both the Decor and Kitchen section (go to the menu under the Blog Header, find TSLL’s Shop, view the drop-down menu and click on Decor and/or Kitchen)
The Ad-Free Subscriber who is randomly selected (you must leave a comment to enter – please make sure the email you leave a comment with is the same associated with your subscriber account) will have the opportunity to choose the trug of their choice from the two seen in the pictures on today’s post. The second trug will be given to the second winner (non-ad-free subscriber, but awesome commenter on TSLL :)).
Please note there is still one more giveaway for EVERYONE to enter, as well as one more giveaway that will be exclusive to weekly newsletter subscribers.
HOW TO ENTER to win your own Garden Trug:
- Leave a comment on this post (please do the following if you are an Ad-Free Subscriber):
- Indicate which trug you would prefer.
- If you are NOT an ad-free subscriber, all you need to do is leave a comment.
- Enter by Saturday May 23rd by Noon (Pacific Time).
- Stop by the blog on Sunday May 24th to see if you are the lucky winner. If you are the lucky winner and do not claim your prize by Tuesday May 26th, a new winner will be randomly chosen.
2020 TSLL BRITISH WEEK POSTS
A British-Inspired posts from TSLL Archives You Might Enjoy: