Howards Lectures 2023

Howard head and shoulders


Howard Drury DHE (Hons)

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

8 Bagnell Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B13 0SJ
Tel 0121 443 3212
Mobile 07710 038 467

Website email: - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Are you looking for a top-class Talk, Lecture, or Demonstration or Zoom Presentation – 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 places and gardens I have visited and recorded recently.  A full range of props is supplied including radio microphones, stereo PA system, the latest laser digital projector and large screen (7 ft (2.13 metres)) 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!

I am equally happy to offer Zoom presentations for groups or a number of individuals, these can be either hosted by the group or by myself.  The maximum number under my current licence is 100 people, but can be increased if needed. Fees are slightly less than for a physical meeting, from experience we can have an interesting light-hearted but accurate lecture complete with a question time if required.

Let down by a speaker being unavailable for whatever reason? Then give me a call on my mobile as I maybe able to help. Given a few hours notice, I am willing to try to help groups.


 I was born in Lincolnshire, started selling lettuces at 6 years old, worked on local nurseries before going home after school. I 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 was closely involved with ExtraCare Charitable Trust, where for than 20 years we have been using gardening as a therapy in the form of a gardening competition.

For many years I have been closely associated with Ashwood Nurseries, this gave me access to John Massey's garden which in turn provides me with a wealth of horticultural excellence that is incorporated into many of my presentations.

Today I use the latest computer, projection, and audio technology to make my talks much more of a total horticultural experience to be remembered rather than just another gardening talk!



Pamela, Sulgrave Gardening Club, thank you so much for such an informative and enjoyable talk, especially the personalizing of the introduction which was very impressive. We hope to see you again very soon.

Walter Sharratt, Weston Favell 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 were outstanding. Some examples being: -

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

# your intro showing personalized topic title / date / occasion 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 are usually a handful of members who have a bit of a grumble afterwards at teatime. However, this afternoon the feedback was all very positive, and I am pretty sure the new programme organizers 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! Allyn 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 exceptional 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, 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 days 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, Treddington 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 personalized welcome to our club and the music at the end. This left 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, were 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 2023 onwards start at £85.00 plus expenses for groups of up to seventy-five people. (Talks booked after 1st January 2024 will be priced at £90.00 Prices increase slightly for larger groups as larger screens and more equipment is employed to a maximum of £150 for groups of 250 plus people. (That's only 75p per person) This is also seen as a fairer system rather than a flat rate. Some subjects include free fact sheets that can be downloaded from my website. 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!

Travel expenses are based on the current cost of fuel at the time of the talk or lecture, and at the time of writing with the high cost of motoring I am charging 45p mile.


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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

A group in the North West of England

Hellebore lecture and denonstration by Howard at Ashwood Nurseries

Howard talking to his own gardening club group at Swindon Community Centre

List of Video, PowerPoint, and other presentations


Please note the following video presentations are of a pre-set length and cannot be adjusted


Cornwall – The Unknown Gardens, People, and Place. 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. It 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. We 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 (Video) (Currently being re-edited)

Madeira, the island, its gardens and people Presentation One. 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 Two. 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 Levada walk. In two parts of 44 minutes each. (Video)

New Zealand, the Islands, her plants, gardens, and people – Presentation One. Using video footage shot and edited by myself, let us transform you to one of the world's most beautiful places, journeys. Travel with me 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)

New Zealand, the islands, her plants, gardens, and people – Presentation Two. 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 wildflowers 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 (2.13 metres) screen with stereo sound and live commentary. In two halves, each of 44 minutes. (Video)

Switzerland – Flower Hunting in the Bernese Oberland Presentation One. 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. Consisting of two parts of 42 minutes. Very popular. (Video)

Switzerland – Flower Hunting in the Bernese Oberland Presentation Five. A further visit to this very scenic area that is rich in wildflowers 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 (2,438.4 m). 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 Lucerne.  Consisting of two halves, each of 42 minutes.  (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.  We travel as far as Tirano just over the Italian border as part of an unbelievable journey. (Video) (In preparation)

The Gardens of South West Scotland. Few people realize 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, hopefully ready 2022)

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) (Being re-edited at present)

The Great Gardens of Yorkshire Following a 5-day visit based in Harrogate, I take you through some well-known and much less know great gardens of Yorkshire. Included are plenty of gardening tips on subjects such as Clematis, sun loving plants and Dahlias. In two parts, each of 43 minutes. (Video)

The presentations below are all PowerPoint presentations and can be adjusted time-wise slightly (Most run best at 65–85 minutes and can be presented with or without an interval)

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 a 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 PowerPoint presentation or live material to take away! This talk can be subdivided 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 the 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 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. (P/P) (Updated January 2023)

60 years of Gardening Tips How time flies by and gardening changes, As we move on in years I take a long look at how things have changed and where we are heading in the future. The story retraces my early days in Lincolnshire, via Edinburgh and concludes with the last 40 years in Birmingham, packed with both nostalgia and gardening tips this is a slightly longer version and is best in two halves of around 40 minutes each (P/P) (Updated October 2023)

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 October 2023)

56 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 renowned 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. Longer than 56 years of Ashwood Specialities and with less detail on the plants. (P/P) (Updated 2023)

56 Years of Ashwood Specialities. It is now 56 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 and again updated in 2020 with lots of images and stories never seen before to celebrate 53 years of Ashwood Nurseries, there is a longer less plant orientated talk also covering some of John's internationally renown garden under the title of 56 years of Ashwood Nurseries see above) (Updated 2023)

A2Z House Plant Health Check. Do you have any houseplants? Are they thriving, or do they need a reality check and some help? This is a presentation on why houseplants are often in trouble and offers ways around problems such as poor light levels lack of proper feeding and specialist knowledge about many houseplant 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)

A Blooming Good Story Part One A chance meeting with legendary horticulturalist Adrian Bloom led me to start putting together the story of the Bloom family, the development of the Dell Garden And Foggy Bottom plus few of us realize just how many great plants this family has introduced to horticulture in this country, a fascinating subject to research, complete with a stem museum! Had to divide it into two presentations as Adrian's father proved to have a fascinating history which included introducing almost 200 new plants, getting flooded out and draining bogs! I visited many of the places Alan had lived, and the presentation is illustrated with many new and original images. Part two covering Adrian with become available by early 2024 (P/P) (New for 2023)

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) (Updated October 2023)

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 of how to create a perfect and how to look after it from Howard's years teaching turf culture at King's 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) (Updated October 2023)

After the rain, snow and drought, what next for the gardener? Originally written to 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, it has been extensively updated to take into account the wet autumn and winter of 2019 and the threats of climate change, followed by the dry summer of 2022. 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) (Updated September 2023)

Alpines in the Wild and Cultivation. We look at alpines from around the world in their 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, even in the smallest of gardens. (P/P) (Updated 2022)

Amazing Aeoniums. Some years ago I became interested in this genus of plant and started collecting, to the point I probably have one of the larger collections today. They are becoming very popular as both pot plants and for use in outdoor summer displays. We cover their origins, how they have been hybridised to give even stunning foliage plants that are so easy to grow. Recently a friend managed to hybridise these with the Semperviren, which should have launched at Chelsea in 2020 If you want to grow some amazing foliage plants and learn about the new Semponium then this is the talk for you. (P/P) (New in January 2023)

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. (P/P) (Updated January 2022)

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. Aimed at keen plant based groups. (P/P)(Extensively updated with lots of new information 2024)

Anything Silver. We have 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. Good selection of plants included with hints and tips on their needs and cultivation Many of the plants included are well suited to the long dry summers like (P/P) (updated October 2023)

Are You Exposed? Do you live in windy, exposed conditions? If so this is the talk for you covering soil conservation and weather tolerant plants we help to tame your garden and turn it into a micro haven for us, our plants and our wildlife. (P/P) (In final preparation)

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. For specialist groups. (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 an RHS show to gain the first of their many gold medals. Lewisias make good alpine houseplants, 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 with latest new species and cultivars 2023)

Autumn into Winter and Early 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. Many of the images are from John Massey's garden at Ashwood Nurseries. Plants are captioned for easy identification and the presentation concludes with a musical magical tour through six months in just 4 minutes! This is a long presentation and needs 80 minutes minimum. (P/P) (Updated October 2023 with many new images)

Autumn into Winter This can be a dull and challenging time of the year for many of us but by careful choice of long season plants and an introduction to some lesser known plants from John Massey's garden and elsewhere. Combined with a little microclimate enhancement, we can bring colour to our gardens in late autumn and winter. More detailed than above title, which includes early Spring.  Ideally, need 75 minutes.(P/P) Updated October 2023 with many new images)

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) (Major update September 2023 to take into account latest views)

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 realized 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) (Updated 2021)

Be Healthy, Grow Your Own Fruit and Vegetables. This was a request for a talk on the subject from 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 than ever following the rains in Spain recently leading to 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 look at them and how valuable they can be in helping conserve garden wildlife. Very popular subject. Very popular with all gardening groups. (P/P) (Updated Extensively October 2023)

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 2023)

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

Building and maintaining a Butterfly Friendly Garden. Love them or hate them, butterflies and moths have children called caterpillars, but do we have a butterfly and friendly garden for all stages of their life? We look at what often minimal changes we need to make to our gardens to encouraged more of these often-endangered species to help them survive. (P/P)

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 PowerPoint presentation with suggestions of bulbs for different situations, including aspect and soil type. Needs 80 minutes ideally. (P/P) (Updated 2022)

Buttercups In Our Gardens? Can you manage without buttercups in your garden? The family ranunculaceae 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.  Ideal for more specialist plant groups. (P/P) (Substantially updated and revised, 2023)

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 2023)

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 2023)

Colour in your garden from Autumn until Spring. Gardens in winter no longer need to be dull; we 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. Based around john Massey's garden at Ashwood Nurseries. (P/P) (Updated Autumn 2023 with many new images)

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) (Extensively updated, 2023)

Container Gardening Throughout the Year. Very different from summer and spring season plantings, we 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 November 2023)

Crazy about Crassulaceae. The more I learn about this huge plant family, the more I appreciate how good a houseplant they make. They can even be grown outdoors during the summer and literally thrive on neglect in the winter. Lots of tips on how to grow and propagate these fun plants and how to arrange them in attractive, long-lasting displays. (P/P) (Ready winter 2023)

Desert Island Discs. You have heard of the radio programme, but how about some of my favourite music mixed with some gardening tips? This is a presentation that can be tailored to many groups, including those that are less able to garden and those who are not keen gardeners. (P/P) 

Digital Photography Hints and Tips. Pictures are free today! There is a huge array of ways to capture images today, from smartphones to digital SLR cameras costing a fortune. The question is what you need and how do you take and utilize the best images. We look at some of my better images and how to use them in the 21st century, don’t be scared it's easy, and you can send your images and even video to friends literally around the world! (P/P) 

Garden Design or a tour of British Gardens, One. This presentation started somewhat 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 backyard!  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. A different angle to the version of the above, showing other gardens around the country to demonstrate garden design. The earlier 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 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. Aimed at training professionals. (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 being revamping to keep up with new legislation)

Gardeners and Climate Change.  We look at how Global Warming 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 bring 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 very popular talk and make up your own mind how this affects gardeners. (P/P) (Updated to include latest information, September 2023)

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)

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) (Updated 2024)

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, I have been in touch with John Harris the country's leading expert on Moon Gardening, and he has suggested a new easier format for this talk.  We plan to include good gardening practices to make it easier going and to appeal to more people.(P/P) (Expected revision to be available from late Spring 2024)

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 Black. Can we garden in black or more accurately can we use the black attributes of plants to create stunning garden designs and introduce good plants to our gardens and the answer is yes! The title came about after visiting a garden south of Dublin, where a couple had achieved this, sparking me into trying to promote this concept.  Which other than Karen Platt few people talk about, to find out what you are missing this is a must talk for keen plants people and those who like themed gardens.

Gardening in Small Spaces. As gardens get much smaller, I became aware of the need for this subject, can we use smaller plants, how do we utilize layer planting more effectively?  Make the most of the walls and fences, can I fit in a greenhouse, and can we still grow vegetable? These are just some questions answered in this title, which is aimed at both young to get them into gardening and to older people who downsize but miss their larger garden (P/P) (Currently being updated to include the latest concepts)

Gardening Changes in the 21st Century. We analyse the rapidly changing garden and horticultural concepts that are driving our lives, will you still have the same old mower or vegetable varieties, can we move with the times as gardeners? (P/P)

Gardening Views 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 in the Future. Greenhouses may become a thing of the past, just how important are LED lights and solar panel to gardeners and will mowing the lawn become a thing of the past? Will we be allowed garden chemicals, and what will our potting compost consist of? If you want to know what the future holds for us gardeners, then this is a must talk that is constantly being updated as things change! (P/P) (Continually being updated with the latest news and views)

Gardening With  Gadgets, Smartphones, 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 must accept it’s the way gardening is going so let’s embrace it and make gardening easier and fun! (P/P)

Gardening with and after Covid-19.  With the arrival of Covid-19, many will have wondered what is happing to gardening, and there have been some huge changes. Not all of it has been bad, with a whole new range of ideas and concepts emerging. This very up-to-date talk has a look at how this terrible disease affects us and how we can use gardening to beat it. (P/P) Being continually updated. 2023)

Geraniums and Pelargoniums. This is a group of plants I have been growing for more than 50 years. I was recently asked why I didn’t give a talk about these very popular plants, so here it is, covering mainly what we loosely call geraniums and the increasing popular regal pelargonium. We have limited the talk to just these plants, as hardy geraniums are covered in some of the herbaceous lectures. (P/P) (Ready Summer 2023)

Getting the Best out of Clay Soils. Clay can be difficult a difficult soil, but we show you how good it is, how to manage it and what plants like growing in clay soils. Very well received.  (P/P) (Seriously updated 2020)

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)

Golden Treasures. There are many golden foliage and golden variegated plants that we can grow in our gardens and greenhouses. 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)

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 make the most of the greenhouse and maximize its use. (P/P)

Ground Cover Gems and Horrors. Ground cover need not be boring. There is a wide range of plants for different situations and aspects and with carefully planned layer planting you can bring ground cover alive rather than it becoming a weed infested rubbish trap. We look at different situations ground cover might be used and how low maintenance it can be but still look good, We also warn you of plants to avoid, hence the title. (P/P) New for 2022

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)

Growing Vegetables in the 21st Century.  A general look at how things have changed from the old allotment days to today’s problems of smaller gardens balanced against the increased demand to grow our own healthy food. A wider look at the many options that are covered in more detail in specific titles, such as 10 square foot (0.93 m²) gardening and Vegetable growing in confined spaces. (P/P) (Updated 2024)

Hanging Baskets, Window Boxes and Pots. A look at seasonal planting in a wide range of containers, both in the summer and winter. Not the same as Containers for all the year-round colour, as it does not include permanent plantings and is aimed at the general gardener looking for some easy to achieve displays without too much gardening knowledge. (P/P)

Hardy Cyclamen from the wild to your garden, greenhouse or cold-frame. We 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 in the breeding and raising of Hellebores. Fully illustrated and very popular. (P/P) (Extensively Updated, 2023)

Hepaticas, The Ashwood Story. It is some years since I met Roy Lancaster at Ashwood Nurseries, where he was meeting several Hepatica growers from Japan and introducing John Massey to the world of Hepaticas. Since then John has become one of the world's leading experts on this genus and I have been privileged to follow him with my camera and notebook which ultimately led to John picking up numerous top awards for his stunning display at Chelsea in 2016 of which I am very proud to be part of and hence this talk came into being. (P/P) (Extensively revised and available after the long awaited book on the subject by John Massey in early 2022)

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) (Always being updated and revised)

Hot Tips for Gardeners. A look at the good things a hot summer 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)

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 houseplants 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 2023)

House Plants through Covid-19 and Beyond. A brand-new talk covering how Covid-19 has changed our views and the way we are now growing houseplants and which plants are being grown and how to look after them. (Updated Spring 2023)

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 Spring 2023)

House Plants, a Course in Winter Survival. A look at the difficulties autumn and winter creates for our houseplants, 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 November 2023)

How not to kill your House-plants. Have you wondered how you managed to kill your own houseplants? Maybe you’re just looking for a few tips to get even more out of those that survive, then this is the talk for you. Lots of hints and tips about potting, watering and caring for your houseplants in the home. (P/P) (Updated Autumn 2023)

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 backache. 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 moving to Scotland. Lots of practical advice with loads of laughs on the way (P/P) (updated 2021)

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 Geoff Amos? This talk covers the years that Howard helped put together and present more than 600 editions of the hugely popular Gardening Time. The programme mostly came from King's Heath Park and Howard’s own garden, and includes stories about the flower shows and question times that were also popular with viewers. Includes many images not seen before. (P/P) (Major revision and update to include new images and material not seen before) (updated with never seen before images 2024)

Howard Drury – The Later Years. How time flies, looking at the period after working with Central Television's Gardening Time. This talk covers many interesting garden visits, it includes our own garden and its plant collections, alongside my 25 years working with Ashwood Nurseries.  Ideal for general groups and non-gardening groups, but with plenty of good tips. (P/P)

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, it's off the cuff, usually great fun with audience participation encouraged as well as being educational. (P/P)

Howard's Gardening Essentials. Following a request from a group, I have put together a talk covering the essentials I consider worth having in being successful at gardening. What are they, how to best use them, part PowerPoint presentation and part demonstration with a selection of my essential tools and products. Suitable for new and experienced gardeners. (P/P plus Practical) (New October 2021)

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! (P/P)  (Updated September 2023 with five different versions as 3many groups are inviting Howard back for this very popular light-hearted event)

Howard’s Musical Gardening Quiz! Your chance to ask me questions, or I test your knowledge of gardening using clues from well-known musical titles, great fun with loads of prizes. Very popular with all groups. (P/P) (Several new versions for 2023)

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 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 worth a try, especially now we have new ideas on how to best overwinter plants. (P/P) (updated September 2021)

Life on The Lizard. Spending time over the years on the Lizard Peninsula, I began to realize just how a complex and wide-ranging plant and animal life exists and how man’s influence over the years has changed what we see today. We include plants gardens, wildflowers and wildlife as well as looking at how life itself on the Lizard has evolved over the years. (P/P) (Aiming for Spring 2024)

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, however we show you what plants and bulbs to use to brighten up the dull months leading up to Christmas. (P/P) (updated September 2023)

Making Gardening Better in 2023 and Beyond. A new look at trends ideas and what to do in the future, includes groundbreaking 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) (Updated 2022)

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. It is not about gardening as we get older but suitable for all age groups with tips for all gardeners. (P/P) (Updated November 2022)

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 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 2019)

March into May. A more look at plants that provide interest from early March until late May, we might even add a few from February depending on 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 (Extensively Updated, 2023)

Memories of 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 I have 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)

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 2019) (P/P)

My Famous Women Gardeners. A look 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 Suitable for all groups. (P/P) (Updated March 2023)

My Very Succulent Story. I was around 8–10 years old when I first grew a few cacti and succulents in our first greenhouse. Since then, I have met many interesting characters that grow succulents, especially in recent years. I have literally made friends around the world. This led to me replacing some old Alton greenhouses to make a home for my now vast collection of succulents. Join me as I meet some lovely people, visiting places like the Minack theatre, Surreal Succulents in Cornwall and learn of new plants and plant breeding. Lots of tips, why succulents are now so popular and how easy it is to look after them. This talk is often accompanied by a selection of hard to find and rare but not hard to grow succulents for sale. P/P New 2021

My Plant Collections over the Years. Having gardened for almost sixty years, I have fallen in love with certain plant collections, some of which are now for various reason in danger. Lots of tips on my favourites such as my collections of Aeoniums, Geraniums, Primulas, Plectranthus, Echeverias, along with Peat Garden plants and much more. A general talk with lots of tips and ideas, often accompanied by plants for sale. (P/P) (New Autumn 2021)

My Worst Garden Enemies. Which pests and diseases worry me the most? Are they the only things to worry about, should we include our neighbours and their pets or children? We also look at some of the plants we grow, are they early worthy of introduction to our gardens or should we get rid of them. To learn who your garden enemies are, you need to participate in this lecture. (P/P) (New Autumn 2023)

Northumberland, The Borders and Beyond. Following two very successful visits to the area, we can now transport you through some of the most exciting gardens in the area. If time permits, even take you to the Edinburgh Botanic Garden, which is this year celebrating 350 years. Do you know the origins of Earl Grey tea or that the North East has one of the largest wild origin plant collections in Europe? (P/P) Suitable for all groups.  (Brand new for 2020)

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 2018)

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 2019)

Pests, Diseases, and Disorders. Have all your pest and disease problems solved in this talk. You are invited to bring your concerns 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 perceived by many! (P/P) (Updated Autumn 2022)

Plants for Free. Depending on the time of the year, this can be a mix of practical demonstration and part PowerPoint. We show you just how easy it is literally to make new 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 for Stunning Summer Displays. Covering many aspects of summer displays and utilizing many images I have taken of what I call stunning displays. We cover traditional season summer displays, both planted in the ground and containers, herbaceous, and the combined use of trees and shrubs to provide simply stunning displays. (P/P)

Plants that I have Loved and Lost. A famous nurseryman once wrote in the 1930s he could write six times as many books about the plants he had killed. 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 2022)

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 lists. 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 2020)

Pruning – the fundamentals to successful pruning around the garden, with advice on 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)

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 home and sacked her Head Gardener! (Very practical and informative) (P/P)

Pruning, are you a butcher or hairdresser? This light-hearted, not too technical talk, tries to show that there are only a few basic ways of pruning plants around the garden. It 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)

Raising Plants from Seed. A new talk 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 hybridize and collect seed, the best ways of storing it and how to sow and when to get the very best results. As this is all PowerPoint, it is well suited to larger audiences. It can be delivered at any 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) (Updated 2019)

Sand Glorious Sand. Those gardeners living with sand will know its shortcomings. However, 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.  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 2023)

Solving Problems The Organic Way. Most of us want to be organic, here we try to demonstrate that by taking a whole-body approach to gardening we can avoid many pests and diseases in our gardens.  However, we should always try to us organic controls where possible. We show some sound organic principle and offer non-chemical ways of overcoming gardening issues. (P/P)

Spring into Colour. As the days lengthen and our gardens wake up, we look at the numerous subjects that can brighten up our the garden and the greenhouse or conservatory from Christmas until May (P/P) (Revised 2023)

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)

Summer Hanging Baskets, Pots, and Other Containers. Over one third 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 PowerPoint 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 2023)

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 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 and its Plants. Fragrance in a garden is important, but how do you create it and maximize it in today's modern garden against the old cottage garden style of scent. (P/P) (Updated Autumn 2022)

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 2024)

The Hepatica Story. John Massey of Ashwood Nursery is acknowledged as one of the top experts in the world on this subject. 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. A shorter, older version than the one above, which covers Chelsea. (Both have been revised to take into account John Massey's long awaited new book on Hepaticas, now published, March 2022)

The Idiot's 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 Multi-Sensory Garden. We explore the senses and explain what these are and how they can be combined to design and build a multisensory garden or trail. We 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 in effect for a full 12 months of the year. (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 to 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 2021)

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 of the year. Part of the presentation is usually P/P and part practical depending on time of year and time slot available. Aimed at smaller groups to enable them to see detail in the demonstration part.

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

The Very Best Gardening Tips, II. 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)

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. We move on from just organic gardening to the whole concept of Wildlife Gardening. We explore 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. This talk is modelled on John Massey’s well-known winter garden at Ashwood Nurseries, and covers September through to May (P/P) (updated October 2023)

 The Winter Garden. A more detailed look at our Gardens from December until late March to provide that vital attraction in the dullest part of the year. We cover from bulbs up, herbaceous, shrubs and trees with lots of tips including spring pruning (P/P) (New for 2022)

The World of Genetically Modified Crops.  We examine 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)

The Men Who Inspired Me. 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) (Updated 2023)

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)

To Maastricht and Back With a Few Gardening Tips. Join Andrea and me on a magical journey to Maastricht to see Andre Rieu, take a trip around this magical city. Enjoy excerpts from the concert and intersperse it with loads of gardening tips and advice. This 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.  Ideal for all types of groups.(P/P) (Updated 2023)

Top Problems and Worries for the Gardener.  Originally compiled in 2014 and continually updated 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 be throwing at gardeners (P/P)

Variegated Delights. A 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.  A most requested subject. (P/P) (Updated March 2023)

Vegetable Growing in Confined Spaces. This presentation arose as a follow on to a title on gardening in 10 square feet (0.93 m²). 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 2020)

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 (0.93 m²) 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 2021)

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. Then we try to 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 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 what’s not worth even trying! (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 2019)

Winter and Spring Displays in Pots and Containers. Fed up with your garden and patio looking bare in the winter, then you need some ideas and inspiration. We offer many solutions by visiting other people’s 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) (Updated November 2022)

Winter into Spring. We often say there is no colour in our gardens from winter into early spring, but you will be surprised just how many plants can offer colour in the garden at this time of the year. It maybe flowers, stems or bark, it could be bulbs, herbaceous or shrubs and tree and what about containers. There are lots of ideas here to make your garden look better in this difficult period. (P/P) (Updated October 2023)

Your Garden Month by Month.  We take 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 visit. This could be either as a day trip or as garden holidays, if you have been or know of any fascinating 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. Some subjects are more suited to certain groups than others, so please check with me before confirming a title that it suited to your group and will work at that time of the year.

To make a booking simply email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  call me on 07710 038 467, use snail mail or one of my social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Messenger

 Howard Drury

Howard Drury

© Howard Drury 03/10/2023

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