Horticulture Week Podcast: Sally Drury on 40 years at HortWeek and a lifetime in horticulture

Sally Drury's lifelong journey in horticulture began in tragic circumstances when she took on the family garden after her father died in a road traffic accident. She then studied at Reading University and won an award for her dissertation on horticulture and the Common Market. She got the attention of judge and HortWeek editor Jim Deen who asked her to work for the title - and the rest is history.

Turf is Drury's favourite sector and she has seen great advances since the 1980s including the development of Verti Drains and better construction, grass breeding and LEDs robotics.

She also cites positive developments across horticulture more broadly, including how woodchippers have transformed how felled wood is used - not burnt but mulch, capillary beds, LEDs, decking, bigger trees, more naturalistic plating, tree spades, fitness and adventure playgrounds.

Drury believes that horticulture is capable of solving just about all problems because it involves plants and has a part to play in conservation, water management, food, pharmaceuticals, sport, therapy, employment and money for the economy.

She also shares with the podcast her predictions for the future - more grow your own, robotics, drones, vertical farming, AI and rewilding but fewer specialist nurseries and plant collectors.

And as a former standup comedian she recounts a few funny stories and offers a typically idiosyncratic take on her Desert Island Plant.

Presenter: editor Matthew Appleby
Producer: digital content manager Christina Taylor

Make sure you never miss a Horticulture Week podcast! Subscribe to or Follow Horticulture Week podcasts via Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts or your preferred podcast platform. 

If you are interested in producing a podcast with HortWeek, contact hortweek@haymarket.com.


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