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Historical Sussex Trug design is revived in celebration of RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015

A long-lost, traditional sweet chestnut and willow Sussex Trug design, is to be revived in celebration of The Trugmaker’s Garden - an Artisan show garden, which is being created at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015, by garden designers Serena Fremantle and Tina Vallis.
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The Chelsea Revival Trug, as it is to be named, is being lovingly recreated in a collaboration by members of the Association of Sussex Trug Basket Makers, 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 half *bushel Trug, which is thought to have been used historically for apple and fruit collecting. It is believed the style hasn’t been in production for over 50 years and only a few originals (as right) are thought to remain.

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

Serena Fremantle and Tina Vallis’ stunningly detailed garden design depicts a traditional wooden Trugmaker's workshop set in an authentic and vibrantly planted garden. The design duo are hoping to delight the 160,000 visitors to the show and to highlight the need to protect the dying craftsmanship of the Trugmaking industry.

Sussex Trugs have been made in the region for centuries using the same high quality craftsmanship and sustainable methods. They reached a peak in their popularity during the 1800s, when Queen Victoria admired them and ordered several as gifts for all her family, at the Great Exhibition in 1851. However, in recent years, cheaper mass market plywood and plastic Trugs have flooded the garden and floristry markets, and the numbers of skilled Trugmakers has been in sharp decline.

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 Chelsea Revival, like all Sussex Trugs is highly sustainable. It is made from the by-products of willow cricket bat manufacture and the distinctive dark sweet chestnut used for the handle and frame, is coppiced from managed woodlands. Nothing goes to waste in their making. Unlike their cheaper counterparts, traditional Sussex Trugs are extremely long lasting and easy to mend. When they do finally reach the end of their life, the wood was traditionally used for fire kindling or put on a compost heap.

A Trugmaker’s Garden 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 www.demelza.org.uk

Since last autumn, Serena Fremantle and Tina Vallis have been working extensively on the creation of A Trugmaker's Garden together with their landscapers Frogheath, at their nursery in Burwash Weald. The team are currently putting the finishing touches to the design before it is moved to Chelsea to be rebuilt in May. A Trugmaker’s Garden will be found at stand number SEW1 in Ranleigh Gardens.

The limited edition Chelsea Revival Trug will be available on line at either www.truggery.co.uk. or www.thetrugstore.co.uk and priced at £150.

*A bushel is a measure of capacity equal to 8 gallons (equivalent to 36.4 litres), used for corn, fruit, liquids, etc. (Oxford Dictionaries)

Issue date: March 2015

For further media information please contact Jan Southcott pr T: 01275 852026 M: 07787 527430 or E: jane@janesouthcottpr.co.uk

Notes to Editors:
*Future Climate Info's - A Trugmaker's Garden is sponsored by Future Climate Info who provie essential information for home buyers on environmental risks such as contaminated land, flooding, ground instability, energy industry and infrastructure activities (for example shale gas and HS2). Future Climate Info has strong philanthropic values and the business is committed to supporting and promoting new talent.

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