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Talks and Lectures by Howard Drury D.H.E.(Hons)

Horticultural Broadcaster, Speaker, Lecturer, Writer, Adviser and Consultant

8 Bagnell Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B13 0SJ

Tel 01214 433212
Mobile 07710 038 467

Website www.thedrurys.com email: -

 

Howard with computer600

 

Are you looking for a top class Talk, Lecture or Demonstration – then please read on!

I try to make all my presentations both horticulturally accurate and at the same time being light hearted and entertaining. Slides are a thing of the past. My modern PowerPoint presentations allow more information to be displayed in addition to just pictures, making for more interesting approaches to subjects.  I also offer large screen video presentations with full stereo sound and my commentary on some of the places and gardens I have visited and recorded recently.  A full range of props is supplied including radio microphones, stereo PA system, digital projector and large screen (7ft) where necessary. All I ask for is a contact telephone number for the day of the talk, directions, (preferably post code of venue!) close suitable parking and a 13amp socket!

 Background

I was born in Lincolnshire, started selling lettuces at 6, worked on local nurseries and trained at local Agricultural colleges before going on to Edinburgh Botanic Garden as a Student, leaving with honours and all but one of the top awards. I then moved to Birmingham, working for 20 years as a Horticultural Training Officer and working as researcher and presenter on Central TV’s Gardening Time for 611 episodes. Today I still write, run gardening clubs and give appearances throughout Britain in addition to giving horticultural advice and running gardening holidays around the world. I am closely involved with ExtraCare Charitable Trust where for for than 20 years we have been using gardening as a therapy in the form of a gardening competition.  I also run a computer business building and repairing systems. Today I use the latest computer, projection and audio technology to make my talks much more of an experience rather than just a lecture.

 Comments

Walter Sharratt, Weston Flavell Garden Society Northamptonshire Just a quick confirmation of the conversation I had with you at the end of your presentation last evening in Weston Flavell.

As a retired Senior Commercial Business Manager in 3 x PLC’s and in my earlier career - a trainer in “Making Effective Presentations” it was so impressive last evening to experience and enjoy a “True Professional at Work”

I send huge compliments, thanks  and appreciation.

You have obviously invested in some high-pitched equipment [which helps!] but your personal style, humour and attention to small [but so important] details was outstanding. Some examples being:-

# prior to starting, you carefully adjusting the portable screen to correct picture size and balancing the level

# your intro showing personalised topic title / date / occasion etc etc

# superb “themed music”  at the end - linking with earlier presentation content.

This made it one of the few outstanding presentations I have witnessed in recent years.   

Pam Tatam of Hardy Plant society Lincolnshire Group It's rare that everyone enjoys one of our afternoon HPS talks .There's usually a handful of members who have a little bit of a grumble afterwards at teatime .However this afternoon the feedback was all very positive and I am pretty sure the new programme organisers will be falling over backwards to tempt you back to Welton again.

Thank you so much for your talk in October, so many members came up to me at our last meeting thanking ME for the talk! The general opinion was that it was probably the best talk you have given us and the best talk we have ever had. Thank you once again Rosalie Thomas, Highley and District Garden Club

That was a wonderful evening last night; I wish all our meetings were so entertaining! Alwyn Woolley, Kingston Bagpuize Garden Club

What a fantastic evening we had with you last night. Everyone was buzzing with it. Carol and I will be planning next year’s itinerary in the next couple of weeks so we wondered if you could send us your up to date list of talks. Angela Busfield, Newcastle and District Garden Society

The Society has asked me to thank you for your excellent talk. You gave us advice that I have never read about in gardening magazines and books. You will be hearing from me again in the future. Diana Stephens, Secretary Houldern Garden Society

Just wanted to say 'thank you' for an excellent evening. It was a very enjoyable evening and we had over 75 people there (more than for Nick Hamilton!) and everything worked like clockwork, makes it easier for the Chairperson, no doubt we will see you in the future. Sheila Wright, Evington Garden Club

Many thanks for your excellent presentation last night.  Always so enjoyable with your combination of music which you manage to fit the scenery perfectly. I do hope we see you again soon at Welford, Jan Stewart

The most professional speaker we have ever had and we have had some very good speakers over the years, as a past lecturer I know how much effort Howard puts into preparing and presenting his subjects for us from his vast array of topics. Phil Booth, Chairman Breadsall Garden Club

Our group very much enjoyed your talk (Variegated Delights) last Friday. In addition to the subject matter we've had a lot of feedback saying how much people appreciated being able to hear every word you said. We've recently moved to the school venue as the acoustics were so awful in the last hall we used. However, despite the new place being better and probably because our ageing members cannot hear as well as we used to, your presentation stood out. Carol Jones, Secretary Nottingham branch of the Hardy Plant Society

On behalf of the Members of the Yarnton Gardening Club, can I thank you for the talk you gave last Thursday.  I know through talking to many of the Members that they thoroughly enjoyed it, with so many snippets of information being gleaned.  And you also backed up various thoughts about certain aspects of the trade that I have suggested to members over the years!!  One again many thanks for entertaining us.   Bruce Taylor Programme Secretary, Yarnton Gardening Club

 Thanks again for such an interesting and useful presentation. One of these I will get up to Edinburgh to check out your alpine garden! Your talk (on alpines in the wild and cultivation) inspired me to have a go, and what is more important, John is quite keen to join me! Trish Harding, Secretary Tredding Gardening Club

Very many thanks for your excellent talk last evening. People really enjoyed it and spoke very positively about the evening. Your very helpful information, opinions and suggestions were well received and everyone will have gone away with practical ideas to help the wildlife in their gardens. Thank you too, for remaining behind at the end to answer questions. Margaret Chairman of the Malvern Group of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

This is a 'proper' thank you from us all for giving us such a marvellously entertaining and interesting talk on alpines on Tuesday.   You started with such a personalised welcome to our club and the music at the end, leaving us with colourful memories of the plants growing in many tough areas in New Zealand, Switzerland and England, too, that you had shown us and talked about earlier on, was haunting and delightful.   You could have heard a pin drop - you had told me that there was going to be a surprise at the end and it was great! Rosie Osbourne Boxford Gardening Club

 

Charges and Fees

These are based on a minimum charge for an audience of up to seventy five people and are then increased slightly on a sliding scale to a maximum for groups of two hundred or more. All charges are negotiable and subject to out of pocket expenses such as travelling. Talks booked for 2018 start at £80.00 plus expenses for groups of up to seventy-five people. Prices increase slightly for larger groups as larger screens and more equipment is employed to a maximum of £120 for groups of 250 plus people. This is also seen as a fairer system rather than a flat rate. Some subjects include free fact sheets. In the event of illness etc. I operate within a circle of other competent horticultural lecturers to ensure you are never left without a speaker!

Bookings

Can be provisionally made by telephone, however please confirm any such bookings in writing as soon as possible. Email bookings are easy and very acceptable, please email me  

 

List of Video, PowerPoint and other presentations

 

Please note the following video presentations are of a preset length and cannot be adjusted

Cornwall - The Unknown Gardens, People and Places, Forget Eden and Heligan. This video follows my 5 day tour of the lesser known but brilliant gardens of the county and includes local music and characters as well as some excellent gardens and many good plants. In two parts of 43 minutes. (Video)

Ireland – Dublin and County Wicklow Gardens This is a video presentation based on my footage taken during my recent tour and covers the County Wicklow Garden Trail and the Best Gardens of Dublin which naturally includes garden writer and TV presenter Helen Dillon, included also is some fantastic scenery backed in places by local music.  In two parts each of 43 minutes. (Video)

Ireland - The Cork Garden Trail Fly into Cork and visit 15 of south west Ireland’s little known but brilliant gardens from the seashore to mountainside in 5 days, most of which are not normally open to the public, includes stunning scenery and local music (Updating 2017/8) (Video)

Madeira the island, its gardens and people Presentation I A video presentation on a large screen showing the very best of the island, it’s scenery, gardens, orchids, nurseries and people. Sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of Madeira including the flower festival!  Two halves each of 44 minutes. (Video)

Madeira the island, its gardens and people Presentation II A return visit with my video camera gives us an opportunity to learn more about the magic of the flora of this island and its finely balanced ecosystem. Learn about how the wet north provides water and life to the dry south. Visit private and public gardens, learn about orchids and go on a lavada walk. In two parts of 44 minutes each. (Video)

New Zealand, the Islands, her plants, gardens and people - Presentation I Using video footage shot and edited by myself let us transform you to one of the world's most beautiful places, journeys through the wilds, up mountains, into some of the best gardens to see magnificent plants and meet the owners. This is one of the most popular of all large screen video presentations and comes complete with my own live commentary and local music.In two halves each of 43 minutes.  (Video) (Updating 2017/18)

New Zealand, the islands, her plants, gardens and people - Presentation II Following a more recent very successful trip to New Zealand I have now made a follow up video of different places and gardens. Start your journey in the Botanic Gardens in Christchurch, onto other gardens in the area before heading south for the Canterbury plains and the alpines of the Southern Alps. Continue your journey to Dunedin, the wild flowers around Queenstown and Milford Sound from coach, boat and air. In part two we head back east for gardens around Blenheim before moving to the north island, concluding our journey with the Chelsea Flower Show of the south (Ellerslie). In two parts and presented on a 7ft screen with stereo sound and live commentary. In two halves each of 44 minutes. (Video) (Updating 2017/8)

Switzerland - Flower Hunting in the Bernese Oberland Presentation I Large screen video presentation portraying the magnificent scenery of the area, the plants in their natural habitats and includes material from the highest Botanical Garden in the world! Covers an 8 day trip and all plants and places are named plus some local music. Comprising of two parts of 42 minutes. Very popular. (Video)

Switzerland - Flower Hunting in the Bernese Oberland Presentation V A further visit to this very scenic area that is rich in wild flowers and some of the best food in the world!. Discover how alpines grow in the wild and how you can adapt your garden to suit them. Explore the flora on several easy mountain walks and take a steam train journey to more than 8000ft!. This 8 day trip covers plants (all named) and includes a trip on the Golden Pass train over the mountains to Montreux and an insight into this beautiful lakeside city. We finish with a trip about the beautiful city of Lucern.  Comprising of two halves each of 42 minutes.  (New 2013) (Video)

Switzerland Davos down to the Italian Border We visit the famous ski resort of Davos to explore the local flora and make use of the town as a base to explore this part of Switzerland by train, travelling as far as Tiranio just over the Italian border as part of an unbelievable journey. (Video) (In preparation)

The Gardens of South West Scotland Few people realise just how many great gardens there are in this corner of Scotland, my video presentation covers a 5 day holiday to the area and shows gardens, scenery and people. (Video) (Revamping with new footage 2017/8)

The Great Gardens of East Anglia Visit Hyde Hall, The Old Vicarage at East Ruston, Sandringham, throw in some fabulous nurseries such as Blooms and a specialist Hosta grower then this is something special. (Video)

 The Great Gardens of Yorkshire Following a 5 day visit based in Harrogate in 2006 I am currently editing my video footage to form a video presentation about the gardens, the countryside and the people of Yorkshire. In two parts each of 43 minutes. (Video)

The presentations below are all PowerPoint presentations and can be adjusted timewise

10 square foot Vegetable Growing Originally an idea from America, the principle of growing vegetables on a very small scale intensively is becoming much more popular. a short talk which forms the basis of longer talk entitled Growing vegetables in Confined Spaces, ideal where time is limited and for those keen to grow their own vegetables. (P/P)

101 Ways to Do It (with or without sex) originally devised for a Women's Institute group, the aim of this talk is to acquaint participants with at least 101 different tips on propagation. Depending upon the time of year and the size of the group this can be presented as a power point presentation or live material to take away! This talk can be sub-divided into two separate talks to cover a session on vegetative propagation and a session on seed sowing allowing time for more information and detail. (P/P)

40 Years of Gardening Tips This is an original and very popular talk covering many aspects of gardening with loads of tips. Has somewhat been superseded by 50 years of gardening tips but so popular will remain on talks list for foreseeable future. Like many of the talks, it covers different aspects and areas of gardening so is of interest to many gardeners including specialist groups. (P/P)

50 Years of Ashwood Specialities It is now 50 years since John Massey's father purchased Ashwood from Mr & Mrs Beach. In the intervening years, John and his staff have grown a wide range of specialist crops to perfection. This illustrated Power-Point Presentation looks at some of the many speciality plants such as Cyclamen, Lewisias, Primulas, Salvias, Hydrangeas, Hepaticas and Anemones that Ashwood Nurseries have developed (and won RHS Gold Medals) and how you can best grow them in your garden or greenhouse. (P/P) (Extensively updated to 50 years of Ashwood specialities in February 2017 with lots of images and stories never seen before to celebrate 50 years of Ashwood Nurseries, there is a shorter plant only orientated talk under the title of The Ashwood Specialities see below)

50 Years of Ashwood Nurseries Turn the clock back and learn how Harry Beach started a nursery and Aquatic Centre at Ashwood in the West Midlands and how John Massey's father purchased the nursery and a young lad! Hear how the nurseries evolved to the internationally renown plant centre of today and how things have changed to the point of John travelling the world in search of plants and lecturing. See how the internet keeps customers informed of new developments and events such as lectures, day trips and John's Garden openings, a fascinating story backed up with lots of images and amusing little stories. Shorter than 50 years of Ashwood Specialities and with less detail on the plants. (P/P) (New for 2017)

50 of the Very Best Gardening Tips Continually being updated to include the latest and very best of Howard's Gardening Tips this is a hugely popular title and suited to a wide range of interested groups, being tailored to suit individual groups and can be made fit any duration time-wise. (P/P) (Updated 2017)

50 Years of Gardening Tips Never the same on any two evenings this newer title is full of ideas and tips to get over those awkward problems, or how to get the best out of your garden, together with a few tales covering fifty years of gardening. Upgraded from 40 Years of tips and always in demand! (P/P) Several additional versions with even more tips! Can be adjusted to fit any time slot for almost and interested group. (Updated January 2017)

2014 - After the rain and snow, what next for the gardener? A look at all the problems that have been caused by the heavy rains snow and cold weather of late 2013 and the bleak start to 2014, with recommendations on which plants to grow and how to look after your soil this talk also includes advice on new varieties and possible pest and disease problems (P/P) (New 2013)

2014 Top Problems and Worries for the Gardener Compiled in 2014 to look at what gardeners need to be aware of and how to get around the threats and problems of the 21st century seem to throwing at gardeners (P/P)

2015 Britain Under Threat We continue looking at the problems of climate pest diseases and even legislation brings to the gardeners, its not all doom and gloom because once you are aware of these problems there is often a practical solution, we include lots of new varieties and products and innovative ways to combat gardening problems. (P/P)

2015 Hot Tips for Gardeners A look at the good things 2015 can bring to our gardens with lots of new varieties of flowers, fruit and vegetables. Ways of making gardening easier and more reliable without major changes or spending a fortune. (P/P)

2015 To Maastricht and Back With a Few Gardening Tips Join Andrea and I on a magical journey to Maastricht to see Andre Rieu, take a trip around this magical city and intersperse it with loads of gardening tips and advice, which makes this an ideal presentation for a wide range of audiences from those wanting something different to those wanting a break from serious garden lectures although the tips and advice are hopefully relevant to us all. (P/P)

2016 The Very Best Gardening Tips This lecture was originally put together for a Yours Magazine event held at Butlins in Skegness, it proved so popular that it is requested by many groups today. (P/P)

2017 The Very Best Gardening Tips A follow on of the previous talk above with even more topical tips, gardening advice and a few light hearted stories thrown in for good measure (P/P)

2018 Making it a better Gardening Year A new look at trends ideas and what to do in in the future, includes ground breaking ideas with containers, new methods of controlling pests and diseases, lots of new products and plants. Gardening tips brought right up to date to help make your garden better. (P/P) (New 2017)

A Garden For All Seasons A look at the legendary John Massey's garden at Ashwood in the West Midlands spanning some 12 months. it offers an insight into some of John's magical planting themes and gardening concepts that you certainly will not find in gardening books. I have been extremely honoured to be able to record the garden over several years tracing its development through to the very latest plantings. What John does today is what many of us will be doing in a few years time. (P/P)

A Patch of Grass or A Beautiful Lawn How do you rate your lawn? Is it simply a patch of grass or a lawn to be proud of all the year round. We offer an insight how to create a perfect and and how to look after it from Howard's years teaching turf culture at Kings Heath Park in Birmingham. We also look at the problems from weeds to pests and diseases, which mower or fertilizer is best, how often should i cut my grass? These and many more questions are answered in this new talk. (P/P)

A2Z House Plant Health Check Do you have any house plants? Are they thriving or do they need a reality check and some help? This is a presentation on why house plants are often in trouble and offers ways around problems such as poor light levels lack of proper feeding and specialist knowledge about a large number of house plant subjects. you can even bring your own plant along or a photograph and we will try to help  make it a better plant. (P/P)

Aeoniums, Echeverias and a few Other Succulents Somehow I have become interested in these two members of the succulent family! However they are very easy to grow and can be planted up to offer most attractive displays throughout the year with only the minimum of care. They are ideal for older people requiring little maintenance and are well suited to modern centrally heated homes, they will even put up with being neglected without water for months yet they can provide the most stunning summer display out of doors imaginable. They are the new plants to watch in the next few years possibly becoming more popular than orchids. For a wide range of groups and interests. A shorter presentation ideal where time is limited but not too detailed or too technical! (P/P) (New for 2018)

Alpines in the wild and cultivation We look at alpines from around the world in their native habitat and how you can adapt various areas of your garden to provide a suitable setting. You would be surprised at how many ways and where you can grow alpines. (P/P) (Updated March 2017)

An Evening with Howard Drury A light hearted but horticulturally accurate evening with a chance to put your questions to me and if you do not ask, I’ve got lots of good solid gardening advice and tips for you. Always a great fun session which can be of any duration to suit the group! Bring your problems along (no looked up answers or rehearsed questions here!) Listen to lots of true and very funny stories from my little red book of the last 50 years. (Updates January 2017)

Any Colour but Green A look at some good garden worthy plants that offer great attributes in leaf colour but are not mixed variegation with green foliage.

Anything silver We take a look at silver foliage plants from alpines to trees and offer advice on how to site, grow and cultivate them. Best following 'Variegated Delights which covers the concepts of variegated plants. (P/P) (New 2013)

Ashwoods and their Salvia Collection For some years Ashwood Nurseries have been experimenting, growing and even introducing their own Salvias, we look at where they come from, their hardiness and the best ways to over-winter your plants, remembering how brilliant they are in late summer and early autumn. (P/P)

Ashwoods Lewisia Story This was one of the first crops Ashwood Nurseries specialised in producing many fine plants and eventually showing them at a RHS show to gain the first of their many gold medals. Lewisias make good alpine house plants but a fluke development means we can all grow them easier out of doors today. (P/P)

Auriculas Their Origins, Collecting, Showing and Breeding, this talk gives an insight into this fascinating, but little known hobby. For hundreds of years the florists Auricula has been shrouded in mystery, we attempt to show just how easy to grow these hardy little gems really are. Learn what the judges look for and according to the season, plants may be available for sale. Very Popular (P/P) (Updated 2017)

Autumn into Winter and Spring This presentation covers from September until late March the following spring looking at  a wide range of plants that provide colour in many different forms from foliage to berries, bulbs through herbaceous to Alpines and Shrubs. Plants are captioned for easy identification and the presentation concludes with a musical magical tour through six months in just 4 minutes! P/P (Updated 2017)

Balancing Wildlife With Gardening Want to be wildlife friendly but fed up with the caterpillars eating your plants ten this  the presentation for you. Can we do away with all weevils and greenfly? the answer is no so to find out why watch this presentation to learn how to balance wildlife with successful gardening. (P/P)

Barking Up The Wrong Tree Having taught tree care for many years I became aware that many people plant the wrong tree in the wrong place. I quickly learnt of alternatives that would be more suitable and realised that the bark of trees is fascinating and attractive. This presentation shows a huge range of different trees we can grow in this country all with bark as an important feature. To make sure you choose the right one you need to see this presentation. (P/P)

Be Healthy Grow Your Own Fruit and Vegetables This was a request for a talk on the subject from the Yours Magazine, which proved to be popular when first given and has now been updated to include more about the benefits of growing your own fruit and vegetables, which seems more important then ever following the rains in Spain recently leading shortages of salad crops world wide. What are the true benefit of growing your own? There's a lot more than you would initially think of in this presentation. (P/P)

Being Bee Friendly Not just about the bees but we have included other beneficial insects that we should help survive as they are vital in the pollination of many of our food crops. Are insecticides safe with bees? Why are bee numbers in decline? How can we help our declining bee population? Learn which plants we should be growing in our gardens and equally important which plants and practices should we avoid. (P/P)

Berried Treasures There are so many good plants with highly decorative fruits and berries, we take a look at them and how valuable they can be in helping conserve garden wildlife. very popular subject. (P/P) (Updated September 2017)

Brilliant without flowers some plants look great without flowers, from my variegated geraniums to more unusual pants we will show you plants have many attractive features, not just flowers. (P/P) (Updated substantially February 2017)

Bulbs for all the year round colour in the home and garden A look at different situations and how you can best utilize bulbs, corms and tubers in a range of positions to get colour literally all the year round. This is a power point presentation with suggestions of bulbs for different situations including aspect and soil type. (P/P)

Buttercups in our gardens? Can you manage without buttercups in your garden? The family ranunculacae offers many valuable plants which without our gardens would look bare, but do you know your buttercups? A talk with a few surprise plants that you would not think are in the Buttercup family. (P/P) (Substantially updated and revised March 2017)

Clematis - Queen of the Climbers There is a lot more to this genus than you would think, we begin by looking at where the species are found and the history of the Clematis. We then show you which clematis to grow where and how. Finally we cover all the problems such as pruning and so called clematis wilt. (P/P) (Originally for an RHS lecture and aimed at more technical gardeners. (Updated June 2017)

Climbing, Twining and other Wall Shrubs As gardens become smaller and walls and fences more prominent so using them as an extension to our garden is becoming more important. Choosing suitable plants and appropriate methods of support along with routine maintenance such as pruning is included in this very popular presentation. (P/P) (Updated March 2017)

Colour in your garden from Autumn until Spring gardens in winter no longer need to be dull; we take a look at the vast range of plants that can provide colour in the form of flowers, stems, and foliage or seed pods from autumn until the arrival of spring. (P/P) (Updated Autumn 2016)

Colour in Your Garden From Winter into Spring we take a more in depth and serious look at the huge range of plants that can provide colour in our gardens from the beginning of the year through until the end of March. Goes into a little more detail than The garden in winter or Colour in Your Garden from Autumn through to Spring both of which are slightly longer talks. (P/P) (Updated March 2017)

Container Gardening Throughout the Year Very different from summer and spring season plantings we take a look at some very imaginative and exiting planting ideas to provide longer term colour in the garden with less work! Very Popular as the sales of containers continues to grow. (P/P) (Updated March 2017)

Encouraging Birds into Your Garden Do you really feed the birds? By choosing certain plants carefully you can offer many species of birds the perfect habitat for feeding and breeding and aiding natural pest control. It is not a wild garden, just a few simple rules to save our dwindling bird populations. (P/P) (Updated Autumn 2016)

Extending the Seasons By careful choice of plant and the possibly the use of modern technology it is possible to extend the seasons of colour and produce earlier crops, you could even be lifting potatoes at Christmas. (P/P) (Extensively updated October 2016)

Friend or Foe Do you know your pests from predators? You will be surprised how many of us are unaware just what creatures cause problems in the garden. With promised new legislation limiting the availability of garden chemicals it is more important than ever to know if you have a problem in your garden or not. (P/P) (Updated October 2016)

Garden Designs or a Tour of some of the best English Gardens A novel way of looking at the principles of garden design by visiting flower show and gardens around Britain so this talk appeals to those looking to copy the best of British Garden Design and those who just want to look at some great gardens. Can be customised  (very popular) P/P (Updated 2015 with a new separate new version now available from gardens visited in 2015)

Garden Designs, the Ideas and Principles We look at the basics of garden design and the principles of using shape, form, outline and colour to improve your garden. (P/P)

Garden Design or a tour of British Gardens One This presentation started some what as a mock on garden design, we then thought the best way to illustrate garden design is to look at gardens around the country that show the design principles used by many gardeners and designers today. Some are simply brilliant others are what i would not want in my back yard!  This has proved to be a better way of communicating garden design than the presentation above. (P/P)

Garden Design or a Tour of British Gardens Two An updated version of the above showing other gardens around the country to demonstrate garden design as the 2014 version proved so popular groups requested another version, especially as it showed even more gardens worth visiting up and down the country. (P/P)

Garden Law Do you know where you stand with the law, or are you sure your garden isn't the perfect haven for the burglar, or are you leaving them the best key ever? There's only one way to find out and most people go away with lots of cheap and simple tips to make their home and garden safer and more secure. (P/P) (Currently revamping to keep up with new legislation)

Gardening As We Get Older A very popular subject, how can we change our gardening habits to make life easier as we get older? This one might frighten some but face the facts as we get older gardening can become too much for us or can it help us live a longer more active life? (P/P) (Very Popular)

Gardening by the Moon You may have heard old gardeners claim crops grow better if planted at certain phases of the moon. Is there any truth in it? Could it save the world from becoming a desert? Learn more about the possible myths and truths and you could harvest bigger crops! Aimed at a technical group and has to be annually revised to have correct planting data. Quite technical and not really for general gardening groups, maybe I will attempt a more easy going version in the future.(P/P)

Gardening Facts and Feats Some amazing stories about plants and our gardens some of which are almost unbelievable yet are true. How many slug eggs are there in your garden what colour is our native squirrel or just how tall do X Cupressocyparis leylandii really grow, you will need to listen to this one (P/P)

Gardening in the 21st Century Where is gardening heading in the next century? What is changing and why should or must it change, all of which will influence on the plants we grow. Topical lively subject with chance to air your own views (P/P)

Gardening, Gadgets, Smart Phones, Computers and the Internet Originally tried some years ago and revived by popular demand. With the latest internet wireless connections we can show how us oldies can learn from surfing the net, buy plants on-line and even diagnose our gardening problems and water our gardens from anywhere in the world. Light hearted and very different but not in any way technical, we have to accept its the way gardening is going so lets embrace it and make gardening easier and fun!(P/P)

Gardens Really Worth a Visit Having run garden holidays and day trips for more than 25 years we have amassed a huge collection of images of many incredible gardens for many various reasons. The concept of this presentation was to show a wide cross selection of gardens visited throughout the British Isles that are worth visiting and why. Some may be for the landscape, others may have amazing plant collections while others are simply rarely open to the public and most people will have never or even seen of them. Well suited to all types of groups including none gardening meetings. (P/P)

Gardening - The Future? A thought provoking look at gardens and horticulture. We compare what was happening when we were kids and compare that to the 21st century, along with all the modern paraphernalia available today. Has it made for better gardens, are there fewer plants available today? Why are gardening clubs disappearing? What's happening to our gardens? Is it all doom and gloom or is there really a rosy gardening future.  (P/P)

Gardens Worth Visiting After more than 20 years of visiting gardens I have several real favourites and with digital age we can show you some of the gardens and their plants.  This is suitable for any group of people interested but not necessary technically minded, often appreciated by none gardening groups. (P/P)

Getting the Best out of Clay soils Clay can be difficult a difficult soil, but we show you actually how good it is, how to manage it and what plants actually like growing in clay soils. (P/P) (Seriously updated September 2017)

Getting the Most from Your Greenhouse As food prices rise along with the cost of heating your greenhouse or conservatory we show you what to grow and what not to waste your money on. (P/P)

Global Warming and Gardeners We take a look at the possible causes of global warming and how it is likely to affect gardeners in the UK. Will we be growing the same plants as in the past or should we be choosing a totally new range of plants able to survive the threats that global warming seems to bringing to our plants? Believe it or not, it is not all doom and gloom; there are exciting possibilities and new plants to grow! So don't miss this talk (P/P)

Golden Treasures There are many golden foliage and golden variegated plants that we can grow in our gardens and greenhouses and they can often provide stunning effects when planted in combination with other subjects, learn more from this talk which is often a follow on from Variegated Delights. (P/P) (New 2013)

Greenhouse and Conservatory Gardening in the 21st century With spiralling fuel costs and smaller gardens do we really need a greenhouse or conservatory? If so how can we can we make the most of the greenhouse and maximise its use. (P/P)

Growing Fruit in the 21st Century The effects of global warming and modern technology are allowing us to grow new and exciting fruits – a preview of what's new and what might be on the horizon in the way of soft and top fruits, plus some tips on how to get the best from your existing fruit. (P/P)

Hardy Cyclamen from the wild to your garden, greenhouse or cold-frame We take a look at this genus and what it has to offer the British gardener. The talk covers which species are best in which situation and how to grow them to their very best in the garden, cold-frame or alpine house. (P/P)

Hellebores from the Wild to Your Garden We look at the history of the Hellebore, with a close emphasis on how Ashwood Nurseries became involved in collecting and hybridizing these valuable garden plants. In addition to the general cultivation of both deciduous and evergreen species, this talk gives an insight the breeding and raising of Hellebores. Fully illustrated and very popular. (P/P) (Updated March 2017)

Horticulture in the 21st Century Along with climate change many other factors are now influencing what we grow and how we grow it, are our old favourite plants set to be replaced by genetically modified wonders we cannot manage without or are we just trying to hang on to outdated techniques and plants? (P/P)

House Plants A Course in Winter Survival A look at the problems autumn and winter creates for our house plants with practical advice on how to best protect them, advice on what to do including watering etc., also advice on how to get plants over the Christmas period and what not to do! (P/P) (Updated Autumn 2016)

House Plants throughout the Year Which plant to choose for that particular situation, feeding, watering and pruning, together with hints on re-potting and even sending your pot plant on its summer holiday? (P/P and part practical depending on time of year) (Updated Autumn 2016)

House Plant Survival Guide A look at a wide range of pot plants with advice on their needs and care. We also cover what goes wrong with pests diseases and other problems that your house plants may have to suffer. Includes tips on Orchids, flowering and foliage plants and also advises on what to avoid when buying pot plants. (Updated Autumn 2016)

How not to kill your house-plants Have you wondered how you managed to kill your own house plants? Maybe you’re just looking for a few tips to get even more out those that survive then this is the talk for you with lots of hints and tips about potting watering and caring for your house plants in the home. (P/P) (Updated Autumn 2016)

How safe is Your Garden Is your garden safe, how to avoid accidents. What to do in the event of an accident. From chemicals to electricity, ponds and back ache. Everyone should take note of this one! Are you covered legally or could you be sued in law? (P/P)

Howard Drury - The Early Years Looking back to my early days and the advice and tips I was given and how it has changed today. This talk traces my early gardening days on a railway station, through Lincolnshire before Scotland. Lots of practical advice with loads of laughs on the way (P/P) (updated 2015)

Howard Drury - The Edinburgh Years Tips and stories from my years as a student at The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, tips on many plants and from the different sections such as Rock Garden, Peat Walls, Herbaceous and Shrubs before moving into glass and looking after many plants including orchids and cacti! Not forgetting a fantastic time in Propagation during my three years as a student with stories about living in Edinburgh and visiting gardens in the area P/P

Howard Drury - The Central Television years, do you remember Arthur Billitt and Jeff Amos? This talk covers the years that Howard helped put together and present more than 600 editions of the hugely popular Gardening Time which came from Kings Heath Park and Howard’s own garden and includes stories about the flower shows and question times that were also popular with viewers. (P/P) (New 2013)

Howard Drury - The Later Years How time flies, looking at the period after moving to Birmingham, working as a horticultural lecturer and then my time and stories working with Central Television's Gardening Time and some of the amazing things that happened when you are making a television programme and the places it takes you P/P

Howard Drury - The Most Recent Years just what have I been doing with my time recently? Working with ExtraCare, Ashwood Nurseries and travelling the world - picking up hints and tips all the time. This talk gives loads of topical tips such as what's gone wrong with my Busy Lizzies to why are our trees dying and where have all the chemicals gone. P/P (Updated Autumn 2016)

Howard’s Gardeners Question Time Not the same as heard on a well-known radio programme, but my original thoroughly entertaining and horticulturally enlightening concept, with Howard Drury. On occasions it can be arranged to include other well-known gardening guests. One of the most requested subject of all. Nothing is rehearsed, its off the cuff and usually great fun as well educational.

Howard’s Great Garden Quiz We challenge you to identify the plant, name the celebrity or find the garden. Listen to lots of amusing stories between the questions and big prizes to win. A light hearted fun evening even if you are not a gardener as no real gardening knowledge is needed!  (Updated September2017 with five different versions as many groups are inviting Howard back for this very popular light hearted event) (P/P)

Howard’s Musical Gardening Quiz! You ask me questions or I test your knowledge of gardening using clues from well-known musical titles, great fun with loads of prizes. (P/P) (Several new versions for 2017)

Hydrangeas, the species, cultivars and cultivation hints for your garden The origins and cultivation of Hydrangeas including pruning advice when to prune and when not to prune! We also unravel the mystery of how Hydrangeas change colour according to the soil Ph and the uptake of certain nutrients. (P/P) (In preparation ready early summer 2010 after more photography!)

John's Garden at Ashwood An insight into John Massey's private but very exciting garden at the legendary Ashwood Nurseries. Using both John's own pictures and mine we transport you through a year of colour and plants in this what must be one of the top private gardens in Britain. P/P

Less Hardy but Worth a Gamble The winter of 2010 has really made us think twice about which plants are garden hardy, however there are many good plants that might be just a little tender but are really worth a try, especially now we have new ideas on how to best overwinter plants. (P/P) (updated September 2017)

Low Allergen Gardening Do you suffer from 20th century living? Could your plants in the home and garden be the solution or the problem? As more and more people become sufferers of many ailments this talk might be for you with suggestions as to causes of symptoms and selections of plants to avoid and to grow. (P/P)

Making and Maintaining a Butterfly Garden Designing a garden with suitable habitats to attract some of the more unusual butterflies, selecting plants for egg laying, feeding and for adults to live on along with maintaining a butterfly friendly environment. (P/P)

Making Autumn last until Christmas Gardens can go downhill in the autumn and early winter we show you what plants and bulbs to use to brighten up the dull months leading up to Christmas. (P/P) (updated September 2017)

Making Gardening Easier This is a wide ranging talk covering the many reasons and solutions as to why we need to make gardening easier and includes time-saving and labour saving tips throughout. (P/P) (Updated September 2017)

Making the most of Herbaceous By carefully choosing your herbaceous plants you can provide a long season of colour in the garden and add strong architectural features at the same time. Colour coordinate your planting schemes with lots of good reliable plants that will suit many different situations. (P/P)

Making the most of Summer Bulbs. We see and hear a lot about spectacular spring displays of bulbs but you will be very surprised just how many bulbs corms and tubers can provide a riot of colour from early summer until the first frosts. (P/P) (Updated 2016) 

March into May. A look at plants that provide interest from early March until late May we might even add a few from February depending where you live!) There are so many good plants that we need to bring to your attention to provide that vital colour as we all become keen to get out gardening and see some real colour. P/P (New for 2017)

My Cottage Garden Story What is a true cottage garden, we trace its history and development through to today and look at why we should have cottage gardens, how to design them and what to include. Updated 2017) (P/P)

My Famous Women Gardeners A lot at the women that have helped shape my gardening experience and views - some you will know while others are less well known. This is already proving to be a very popular subject for gardening and non gardening groups as we tour Britain to meet those first ladies of gardening (P/P) (Updated March 2017)

Organic or Not? This talk covers the arguments for and against using garden chemicals. Are chemicals safe or necessary? Should we be organic? After acting as prosecution and defence for both sides the audience is then asked to make up their own mind, the consequences could be quite unbelievable. Can we manage without chemicals? There's only one way to find out, you cannot afford to miss the talk. (P/P) (Updated 2015)

Over-wintering less hardy plants inside and out Do you know how to over-winter less hardy plants? A look at our changing environment and then advice on what to protect plants both indoors and outside and how modern materials and practices allow us to more easily protect our ever widening selection of less than hardy plants. Very popular each autumn! (P/P) (Updated Autumn 2017)

Pests, Diseases and Disorders Have all your pest and disease problems solved in this talk. You are invited to bring your problems along and have them diagnosed. This talk often unearths facts generally unknown about pests and diseases and their control, and was recently deemed to be full of interesting facts and far removed from the boring subject preceived by many!. (P/P) (Updated Autumn 2016)

Plants for Free Depending on the time of the year this can be a mix of practical demonstration and part PowerPoint to show you just how easy it is literally to make plants for free from saving your own seed to taking root cuttings and dividing plants. THe practical demonstrations are best to smaller groups for maximum impact and participation.

Plants that I have Loved and Killed. A famous nurseryman once wrote in the 1930's he could write six times as many books bout the plants he had killed so here is my version complete with tips and advice on how not to kill your favourite plants from Alpines to Trees and in the greenhouse and conservatory alongside plants in the home! (P/P) (New for 2018)

Plants that truly earn a place in the garden How do plants earn a place in my garden or get on my top 10 favourites list. Plants must be reliable and garden worthy, are all plants equal, or do some plants really earn a place in your garden? What is an Award of Garden Merit plant? (P/P)

Primulas in the Wild and in Cultivation We look at this diverse genus with hints and tips on growing these plants from around the world. The talk offers practical advice on where to and how to grow Primulas, including propagation. Practical ways of controlling the dreaded vine weevil are also covered. (P/P) (updated Spring 2017)

Pruning – the fundamentals to successful pruning around the garden, with advice of how to when to prune a wide range of plants including shrubs, fruit and trees. a general talk about pruning covering almost anything woody, for more detailed pruning we suggest choosing one of the two on pruning ornamentals.(P/P) (New 2013)

Pruning Ornamentals this subject becomes an interactive discussion about the need to prune or not ornamental subjects in the garden. You'd be surprised at how few people know the correct way to prune the plants in our gardens. Following this talk one lady went out and sacked her Head Gardener! (Very practical and informative) (P/P)

Pruning, are you a butcher or hairdresser? This light hearted talk tries to show that the more than two ways of pruning plants around the garden and helps you with advice on pruning ornamentals in your garden without leaving them looking like the local hairdresser or Butcher has been in your garden. (P/P) (New 2013)

Raising Plants From Seed A new talk for 2017 looking at a more professional view of raising plants from seed. Already proving very popular and receiving rave reviews we take a more serious look at how to hybridise and collect seed, the best ways of storing it and how to sow and when to to get the very best results. As this is all PowerPoint it is well suited to larger audiences and can be delivered at ant time of the year and is often accompanied by some free seeds for participants to try the skills at raised plants from seeds. (P/P) (New 2017)

Sand Glorious Sand those gardeners living with sand will know its shortcomings but if you understand your sand, it is a glorious medium for growing many plants and has several major advantages over other soils but you must know how to work it and which plants to grow (P/P)

Security In your Garden Just how secure is your garden? What to do while you are on holiday and what not to do to tell the burglar you are not at home. Some security measures are so cheap you cannot avoid them, if you do so who pays the costs. Are you properly insured for all eventualities? (P/P)

Shady Subjects not all shade is the same, it can be cool and damp, shady and dry, which plants should you choose for that difficult situation. Shade does offer exciting possibilities we show you some ideas and some plants. (P/P)

Slugs and Snails Some Amazing Facts and Feats This started as a spoof after dinner speech but after several years researching this important subject I have now put together a most detailed insight into their origins, their role in life and how to control them organically and otherwise if you need to. Incidentally this talk also demonstrates how slugs read and write and make love on a bungee rope - you need to see it to believe it! (P/P) (updated to include information about the Spanish Slug threat 2017)

Spring into Colour As the days lengthen and our gardens wake up we look at the numerous subjects that can brighten spring up in the garden and the greenhouse or conservatory (P/P)

Summer Hanging Baskets, Pots and Other Containers Over one third of all plants end up in a container of some kind. Do you know which containers and compost to use for which plants? This talk is based on a power point presentation, with lots of ideas for different situations around the home and garden (At certain times of the year can be supplemented with a practical planting session for small groups only). (P/P) (Updated March 2017)

Summer Glories Summer is the time when we should see gardens looking at their very best, but which plants really to perform well and which really do last season? We look at a wide range of plants from bulbs through to herbaceous shrubs and trees that really do give a glorious display during the summer months. (P/P) (New 2013)

Sustainable Gardening just what is sustainable gardening, are we being friendly to the environment or creating more problems by the way we garden and the materials that we use. In this presentation we try to give you a balanced view of what is sustainable gardening really is all about and we leave you to make your own mind up. (P/P)

The Damp Garden Having lived on damp soils for many years the idea came to me that there must be many plants that thrive in damp situations without giving up! We show you some ideas for all those different damp situations from full sun and wet to shady and moist. (P/P)

The Ashwood Specialities  This illustrated PowerPoint Presentation looks at some of the many speciality plants such as Cyclamen, Lewisias, Primulas, Salvias, Hydrangeas, Hepaticas and Anemones that Ashwood Nurseries have developed (and won RHS Gold Medals) and how you can best grow them in your garden or greenhouse. This title is an ideal introduction to the different subjects many of which are covered in more detail as a separate title such as Hellebores, Cyclamen, Lewisias and Hydrangeas for the very keen specialist groups. It is also a perfect way of an introduction to the Nurseries before making an actual visit either as an individual or on a group tour behind the scenes or to John Massey's Garden. (P/P) (Extensively updated to cover 50 years of Ashwood specialities in 2017 )

The Flowers of the Bernese Oberland After several years of visiting my favourite areas in Switzerland it seems appropriate to illustrate with images some of the flora and show just how many of these subjects can be grown in our gardens with very little effort. (P/P)

The Fragrant Garden Fragrance in a garden is important but how do you create it and maximise it in today's modern garden against the old cottage garden style of scent. (P/P) (Updated Autumn 2016)

The Great Plant Hunters We owe a lot to the great plant hunters but what did they really collect? Who found the plants in your garden in the first place? We look at some of the best species collected and give advice on how to use them to their best in your garden and the benefits they can bring in our British climate (P/P) (updated Autumn 2016)

The Hepatica Story John Massey of Ashwood Nursery is acknowledged as one of the top experts in the world on this subject and we take a small insight into this member of the buttercup family and show just how easy or challenging they can be, you will be surprised at their beauty. (P/P)

The Idiots Guide to Pruning Ornamentals We show you a fool-proof way to prune your ornamentals to ensure a good display without the need for a lot of technical knowledge, you could say it is as easy as painting by numbers! (P/P)

The Modern Dry Garden A brief look at the original concept of a dry garden and how with the threat of global warming we might need to change our gardening ideas and even the original concept of drought tolerant plants. (P/P)

The Modern Vegetable Potager Garden Can we successfully mix vegetables and flowers together? We show you why this new approach is important and how to go about creating a modern potager Garden Howard Drury style. (P/P)

The Peat Garden and its Plants This is a great way of growing plants in a small shady garden, bringing together subjects from around the world. It's easy, interesting and you never need be short of colour in the garden. It takes little effort to construct and is relatively maintenance free. The story starts in Logan Botanic Garden in 1928 and concludes in 2008 with Howard showing his work in 1975 and bringing the subject right up to date with his own peat garden, including the peat issues. (P/P) (Updated 2016)

The Secrets of Raising Plants From Seed Usually this is a practical demonstration with literally 101 tips on how to improve the germination of your seeds, be it indoors or out. Ideal for January until late March, but subject to availability of seed, this demonstration can take place throughout most the year. Part of presentation is usually P/P and part practical depending on time of year and time slot available. Aimed at small er groups to enable them to see detail in the demonstration part.

The Multi-Sensory Garden We explore the senses and explain what these are and how they can be combined to design and build a multi-sensory garden or trail than can titillate our senses in some cases bringing back happy memories from bygone days, We include fragrances and wildlife gardening along with taste sight and sounds. Learn what plants to avoid and how to build sensory gardens for special themes and occasions that will be effect for a full 12 months of the year. (P/P) (New 2014)

The Sun Lovers A hot south facing sunny bank in my garden led me to find out just which plants are real sun lovers and the best way to cultivate them. The range is huge but it needs a few tricks with soil preparation and pruning to get the best out of them. (P/P)

The Wider World of Evergreens Believe it or not there’s a lot more to evergreens than just conifers and while there might not be the perfect evergreen for your garden the range is huge and their beauty needs to be admired. (P/P)

The Wildlife Garden, Planning and Maintaining Moving on from just organic gardening to the whole concept of Wildlife Gardening, what it means and how to set up your own wildlife garden even if you live in a town or city as all of us have a role to play in protecting and encouraging wildlife. (P/P)

The Winter Colour Garden Brighten up your garden not just visually but with scent and other attributes that can make our winter garden a haven for wildlife at the same time. I’ll bet you didn't know just how many plants can provide colour at the height of winter (modelled on John Massey’s well known winter garden at Ashwood Nurseries (P/P) (updated Autumn 2016)

The World of Genetically Modified Crops How might genetically modified crops affect us in both good and bad ways? Do you know the truth behind SARS and why some scientists have gone into hiding? How do they get one gene from one plant into another of a totally different family and what are the benefits? Is it to feed the world or just financial gain for a few? I leave it up to you to make up your mind if GM crops are a good thing - A great debating subject and one of the first lectures on the subject aimed at gardeners. (P/P)

They Shaped My Life A look at who influenced me over my 60 plus years as a gardener. We cover my early mentors from college and Edinburgh Botanic days through the television years with characters such as Percy Thrower and Arthur Billitt. Plus lots of other people who have influenced me and the plant collections i have grown along with my views on gardening and horticulture. I owe a lot to many people who have helped me formulate my views on gardening and life. (P/P)

They Shaped our Gardens A look at the influence of gardening characters that over the last 100 years have shaped our gardens from the designers to the collectors and not forgetting the celebrities. We trace the past influences and plot the future! (P/P)

Tips for Growing Fruit and Vegetables with many more people now wanting to grow their own fruit and vegetables there seems a need for a talk on the basic principles of growing fruit and vegetables for the relatively inexperienced novice. There are lots of hints and tips, things you should and shouldn't do along with advice on the latest varieties to use products you do need and those where you are simply wasting your money. (P/P)

Variegated Delights very different from an earlier talk on Any Colour other than green, this talk looks at variegated plants for around the garden, greenhouse and home. They do need a little more care than their all green counterparts do but they are fascinating plants that are becoming more popular today. (P/P) (Updated March 2017)

Vegetable Growing in Confined Spaces This presentation arose as a follow on to a title on gardening in 10 square feet, here we look at the problems of gardening in very confined spaces such as balconies or patios and the associated problems. We can use walls and fences to provide space to grow vegetables but how? You will need to see this presentation to find out how? (P/P) (Updated January 2017)

Vegetable Growing on a Smaller Scale Another variation on growing vegetables. We are all seeing a shortage of allotments, plots being cut on half and gardens getting smaller. This slightly longer presentation than 10 square foot vegetable growing and gardening in confined spaces is probably the better presentation for most groups interested in growing vegetables. (P/P) has already proved very popular and covering the many questions people are asking about growing their own fruit and vegetables in smaller spaces but still making it look attractive (P/P) (Updated February 2017)

Weeds, Blooming Weeds We all hate weeds but are some simply a plant in the wrong position? we look at a wide range of weeds from those found in the lawn, our  borders or even in hard landscape areas and try and give you sound environmentally friendly methods of controlling these weeds where possible, and if not which chemicals to use and how to apply them to get the best results. (P/P)

What is New? A continually evolving look at new varieties and species of plants that are appearing in our nurseries and garden centres, but are they are they really worth purchasing? We also try and see possible trends in the way plants are being bred for future markets such as colour themes, pest or disease resistant or simply better plants. This presentation is based on Howard's tour of many trial gardens mainly in Britain but covers new introductions from around the world - but are they here to stay? Find out what to grow and whats not worth even trying! (P/P)

Winter and Spring Displays in Pots and Container Fed up with your garden and patio looking bare in the winter then you need some ideas and inspiration. We offer a number of solutions by visiting other peoples gardens to show just what can be done to provide attractive features in containers during the often dull months of winter and Spring. Some ideas are based on season planting while others show how to make use of permanently plants containers with a huge range of subjects. (P/P)

Why Trees? A look at both sides of the coin, firstly encouraging us to plant up our landscape with trees and then worrying about what to do when something goes wrong. Do you know where you stand legally with your trees, or are you wondering what to plant that will not cause physical or legal problems in the future? (P/P) (Updated Autumn 2016)

Your Garden Month by Month A look at the jobs you should be doing around your garden each month, full of hints and ideas and time for some questions afterwards plus a fact sheet of the jobs you should be doing. (P/P)

 Do you have ideas that we can turn into interesting talks for groups? Do you want a talk on a subject not listed here, then do please contact me and given sufficient notice anything is possible. I am also looking for gardens to take my gardening groups to either as day trips or as garden holidays, if you have been or know of an interesting garden where owners are willing to welcome groups please let me have details – thank you

Please note: most subjects are currently available, however because of new products, plants, new information and changes in the law there will be some subjects unavailable due to being revised and updated

to make a booking email me

 Howard Drury

Howard Drury

(C) Howard Drury 14/10/2017

Parent Category: Howard's Lectures and Talks
Category: Howards Talks Descritions and booking details
Last Updated: 14 October 2017
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