CAR­RIED AWAY

TRANS­PORT TOOLS, SEED, AND YOUR GAR­DEN HAR­VEST IN A VIN­TAGE TRUG AND FEEL A DEEP CON­NEC­TION TO THE ROOTS OF A GAR­DEN­ING TRA­DI­TION.

Country Gardens - - TABLE OF CONTENTS -

Vin­tage trugs, used to har­vest veg­eta­bles and flow­ers for cen­turies, con­tinue to have a pretty and prac­ti­cal place in the gar­den.

OP­PO­SITE Both beau­ti­ful and use­ful, boat-shape trugs are per­fect for cut flow­ers and other de­lights har­vested from the gar­den. THIS PHOTO The unique fea­ture of this mid­size trug, which sits on the pot­ting bench in col­lec­tor Kindra Clineff’s barn, is its tall and wide han­dle. The trug is a great size for stor­ing small stacks of thumb pots, here used for trans­plant­ing nas­tur­tium seedlings.

Some col­lec­tions are built out of necessity, and pho­tog­ra­pher Kindra Clineff is prac­ti­cal. When her first onion crop was ripe, Kindra needed some­thing sturdy but light­weight to bring the har­vest to the kitchen. That’s when she stum­bled upon a trug and dis­cov­ered the quintessen­tial gar­den tool. “Trugs just ex­ude the essence of a sim­pler time,” Kindra says. “Carry a trug and it’s like be­ing trans­ported to an old English gar­den.”

Kindra’s sis­ters no­ticed her af­fec­tion for the tool, and— know­ing that she never has only one of any­thing—be­gan gift­ing more to their gar­den-ob­sessed sib­ling. Kindra now has a col­lec­tion of trugs in var­i­ous shapes and sizes hail­ing from numer­ous an­tiques shops and flea mar­kets.

Un­like other styles of bas­kets, crates, and tool totes as­so­ci­ated with gar­den­ing and agri­cul­ture, trugs are de­signed to take the weight off a gar­dener’s wrist so she can in­stead sling the load over her arm, leav­ing hands free for other ac­tions. True trugs have a long, svelte, oval shape with a curved bot­tom sta­bi­lized on short feet. That for­mat gave them their name: Trug comes from trog, the An­glo-saxon word for boat-shape.

Some of Kindra’s trugs sit in the pantry and barn cradling har­vested pota­toes or gar­lic, while many oth­ers have high-pro­file po­si­tion­ing on shelves through­out the house where they dis­play plant labels, terra-cotta thumb pots, twine, tools, seed pack­ets, and more. But when the gar­den is knee-deep in blos­soms, you’ll of­ten find Kindra tot­ing a trug over her arm loaded with dozens of cut flow­ers like a sum­mery floral ar­range­ment. Some­times, prac­ti­cal­ity needs to take a scenic de­tour.

I OF­TEN USE THEM FOR STOR­AGE AND AS CATCHALLS. WHEN I NEED ONE FOR HAR­VEST­ING, THEY’RE ALL IN­VARI­ABLY FULL AND RE­QUIRE EMP­TY­ING.

COL­LEC­TOR KINDRA CLINEFF

LEFT Any­one who has ever cut sweet peas in the gar­den knows that the vin­ing stems and ten­drils can tan­gle in­ex­tri­ca­bly in a bucket. This vin­tage English trug with a painted green rim and dou­ble set of han­dles makes it eas­ier to lay sweet peas side by side so ar­rang­ing goes smoothly. ABOVE Hold­ing a large painted trug filled with sun­flow­ers, Kindra heads inside from her peren­nial gar­den lush with the golden flow­ers and pink phlox. RIGHT The Clineff clan found this flat-bot­tom grape bas­ket at a flea mar­ket where they pur­chased it from a French an­tiques dealer. A strong rus­tic bent­wood han­dle keeps the load steady even when it’s filled past the brim.

ABOVE When tot­ing sun­flow­ers, some­thing large that can man­age the long stems is nec­es­sary. This tra­di­tional trug waits in the pantry for Kindra to ar­range the flow­ers into a bou­quet. ABOVE RIGHT A tra­di­tional boat-shape trug would not be ideal for bring­ing pints of straw­ber­ries home from the farm­ers mar­ket; Kindra en­lists a green painted square berry bas­ket in­stead.

RIGHT Although not a true trug, this blue wo­ven bas­ket has clearly seen a lot of ser­vice, prob­a­bly span­ning half a cen­tury.

WRIT­TEN AND PRO­DUCED BY TOVAH MARTIN PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY KINDRA CLINEFF

COUN­TRY GAR­DENS //

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