Historical Sussex Trug revived for Chelsea


A long-lost, traditional sweet chestnut and willow Sussex Trug design, is to be revived in celebration of The Trugmaker’s Garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The Chelsea Revival Trug, as it will be called, is being lovingly recreated in collaboration with members of the Association of Sussex Basketmakers, the last of the skilled Sussex trugmakers working today. Charlie Groves and Sarah Page, from the Association, are reviving the design of a highly unusual, rounded and deep bushel Trug, which is thought to have been used historically for apple and fruit collecting.

The new Chelsea Revival Trug will be a numbered, limited edition and will be officially launched at The Trugmaker’s Garden on press day at Chelsea on 18th May, 2015.

It is thought the style hasn’t been in production for over 50 years and only a few originals are thought to remain.

The Trugmaker’s Garden is designed by Serena Fremantle and Tina Vallis and will depict a traditional wooden Trugmaker’s workshop set in an authentic and vibrantly planted garden.

Sussex Trugs have been made in the region for centuries using high quality craftsmanship and sustainable methods. They reached a peak during the 1800s when Queen Victoria bought several as gifts at the Great Exhibition in 1851.

Commenting Charlie Groves said: “We few remaining Sussex Trugmakers are absolutely thrilled that Serena and Tina have chosen to design their garden to help raise the profile of our industry, at the world’s most prestigious flower show. In tribute to the garden we felt it was only right that we should produce a special limited edition Trug and so we decided to revive this very old and beautiful design and to launch it at the show.”

The Trugmaker’s sponsor, Future Climate Info., is keen to also offer a sustainable life for the show garden after Chelsea. Therefore, many of the plants and shrubs used in the design will be replanted in a garden at a local children’s hospice run by the charity Demelza.

The limited edition Chelsea Revival Trug will be available to buy online at either www.truggery.co.uk or www.thetrugstore.co.uk and priced at £150.00.

They are highly sustainable and made from the by-products of willow cricket bat manufacture. The distinctive dark sweet chestnut used for the handle and frame, is coppiced from managed woodlands.