And so Hortus Ligneous was born….
Hortus Ligneous is the brain child of my gorgeous husband Sam. He was brought up in our current family home, being the youngest of five children. The house was developed from a 200 year old two up, two down cottage. One out building was restored into a fully functional workshop, where much of The Willows renovation projects were undertaken. As you can imagine Carpentry is in the blood. Going as far back as the 2nd world war, when Sam’s Great Uncle was commissioned to build the …… Dick (Sam’s Dad) had grown up spending a lot of time with his uncle and had caught “the bug” too. He built his house adding beautiful beams, bespoke doors and adding lots of character using a variety of different timbers. In the working day he was a ceramic and art teacher, creativity ran through his veins and he passed it down. He would put his hand to almost anything. Sam was brought up tinkering in the workshop learning the skills needed to restore the home he grew up in. He was taught the the tricks of the trade and being taught using the most traditional methods of carpentry. They were definitely a family of “grafters”.
Approximately 12 years ago Sam left University with the aim to return to his roots but he was torn between the rolling countryside of Leicestershire and moving to London to join his gorgeous, young and energetic girlfriend in London ( Oh yes thats me!!). As he asked around for advice on the different types of jobs available he stumbled upon a slight problem; he didn’t really enjoy working on computers and couldn’t imagine the next few years in the big smoke, away from the fresh smells of the countryside and the clean air. . Anyway he was a country bumpkin (or country pumpkin as sometimes know in our house) at heart as he likes nothing more than a quiet stroll and a pub lunch. So the whole Lord and Lady in South london fell on its bottom!!
I carried on working as a Personal Assistant for a member of the Royal Family and we commuted most weekends to be together. Sam spent his working days re-furbishing a local stable yard and taking on many jobs sent his way from the local timber yard. Sam used his Dad’s workshop to build many of these wooden wonders. He built sofwood gates, stables and many other timber products. He was mentored by his father who would help him where ever he could. He was now retired and enjoyed helping his own son produce all the bespoke timber products that were being ordered.
Business was good. Life was good. But something was missing. He now had a business that needed a name, a direction, a brand.