MY BLOG
The Citrus Guy
    Horticultural         Consultant

  1. Speaker Services
    If you have a garden club, plant society, or some other horticultural related event coming up and need a speaker, I can offer many different topics.
  2. Places Spoken
    I have spoken to many different groups throughout South Carolina, including garden clubs, horticultural societies, SCNLA tradeshows, libraries, as well as many other events and venues.
  3. Presentations
    I have a wide range of topics that I am well versed in, such as Growing Citrus, Growing Food in Containers, Fruit Growing, Camellias, Oddball Fruits, Integrated Pest Management, and Winterizing Your Garden, just to name a few. I can also design a PowerPoint presentation to fit whatever you need.
The Citrus Guy
I am an author and have written a paperback and an E-Book book as well as articles for numerous websites and magazines:

Carolina Gardening Magazine
PlantersPlace.org Website
South Carolina Gardener
National Home Gardening Magazine
Tri-County Master Gardener Newsletter
Planting Seeds in SC
Coastal Carolina Camellia Society Newsletter (Current Editor-Since 2015)
Lowcountry Fruit Growers Society Newsletter (Current Editor- Since 2015)
Contributing writer Hidden Ponds Nursery Newsletter-2015
The American Camellia Societies Camellia Journal
   
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“His knowledge on Fruit Growing is immense. He runs a monthly group where you can network and learn about growing citrus and other fruit in your backyard. ”
Linda S.
“If you need advice on anything gardening, "The Citrus Guy" is your man!”
​​Jim R.
Why Citrus?
Camellias?!
My first plant was a Wax Begonia. I also had numerous other houseplants at a very early age, including Spider Plants, Christmas Cactus and other assorted succulents and cacti.
I had really gotten into cacti and succulents for a time being, after I had gotten married, in of all places, Maine. I was growing them from seed and belonged to the national cactus society. After moving to Charleston, I still toyed with them some, even contemplated starting a company to sell them called The Charleston Cactus Connection.
Then a visit to one of the local grocery stores, right around Christmas changed all of that.
My wife and I were shopping and walked past the florist section. There on the shelf was a little Calamondin tree (a kumquat hybrid) 50% off. My wife said I should buy it, the poor thing looks so sad. I said no, I don't need anything like that. She insisted the poor thing needs a home. She regrets those words!! LOL Just kidding.
I have NO IDEA what happened after that! I know the second citrus plant I got was a Key Lime and then seriously, I have no idea what happened.
At one time I had 109 different cultivars of citrus in the yard. Not just plants, 109 different kinds of citrus fruit. Everything from citrons to grapefruits, lemons, limes, oranges and all kinds of crazy hybrids like procimequats and citrumelos and all things in between.
I have since cut my collection down to a more reasonable 65 or so.
With all of the quarantines and diseases of citrus that have been rearing their ugly heads, it has made it a little more difficult to increase the collection again. Maybe someday, when I have LOTS more property, and they have either found a cure for Citrus Greening or I am not living in a quarantine zone, I will endeavor to increase it again.
In the meantime, I will enjoy the fruits that I do have from many different places, including Australia, Spain, and Rota Island.
I actually got into growing Camellias by accident. I had a couple of them in the yard, but they were nothing spectacular. I was asked to come speak to the Coastal Carolina Camellia Society about growing Citrus. They wanted something different, so they came to me. At the time, I was primarily a "why waste your time growing things you can't eat" gardener. I saw this speaking opportunity as a chance to show those "silly" camellia people that they were wasting their time on flowers. As the day got closer I was determined to show them. I had all kinds of handouts, door prizes of citrus trees to win and some really cool show plants with exotic citrus fruit on them. I was ready!!
When I got to the meeting, the people were very nice. They had a wonderful spread of food out and really treated me special. I thought to myself, these folks are pretty cool. I still wanted to show them the folly of their thinking. They asked some really good questions and I was convinced I was turning some of them. I started to ask some questions of my own, just wanting to see why they grew these "flowers". They answered my inquiries with no hesitation......then.....I have no freakin idea what happened!!!
As of the writing of this page, I have 200+ camellias in my yard. I am the President of the society, Flower Show Chairman and co-chairman of the National Convention here in Charleston January 2016.
Whatever spell they hit me with worked! I can't go into a nursery or garden center without looking at what camellias they've got, just in case they have one I don't yet.
I am always looking to swap cuttings with other camellia growers. I have even gone to some of the local gardens to acquire cuttings to root. I have enjoyed competing in many
of the shows, which helps my competitive nature.