Originally from New Jersey, the Gardening State, Darren had a passion for gardening from a young age. He was either helping his mother or tending his own small garden. His first plant was a wax Begonia.
Darren is a South Carolina Certified Professional Nurseryman, a Chaleston County Master Gardener, and works for Terra Bella Garden Center in North Charleston, NC. He is known as “The Citrus Guy,” with some 55 different varieties of citrus in his yard, mostly in containers.
Although know as “The Citrus Guy,” he has a passion for all kinds of gardening, especially camellias. For example, there are 200+ camellias in his yard. In 2015 he became the president of the Coastal Carolina Camellia Society, as well as its flower show chairman. Recently, he was elected as the American Camellia Society’s South Carolina State Director. Darren is an accredited camellia flower show judge.
Darren became particularly interested in cacti and succulents while he was living in Maine with his wife, Tammy. He grew them from seed and joined the National Cactus Society.
In another example of his ever-widening gardening interests, Darren formed the Lowcountry Fruit Growers Society, and is their current president.
After moving to Charleston, his wife’s hometown, a visit to a local grocery store, right around Christmas, sparked what is now a life-long focus on citrus. As they walked past the florist section, Tammy spotted a little Calamondin tree (a kumquat hybrid) at 50% off. She insisted that they buy it because “the poor thing looks so sad.”
Their second citrus plant was a key lime. Darren has NO IDEA what happened after that! Eventually there were 109 different cultivars of citrus in the yard, and not just plants, but 109 different kinds of citrus fruit. Everything from citrons to grapefruits, lemons, limes, oranges, and all kinds of crazy hybrids like procimequats and citrumelons, and many things in between. The citrus collection subsequently was cut to a more reasonable 55 or so (to make room for the camellias).
Darren’s book, “How To Grow Citrus Practically Anywhere”, can be found on Amazon. His website http://thecitrusguy.moonfruit.com/ is a virtual smorgasbord of his garden with photos of citrus, camellias and the awards that he has won. Darren has also written for magazines, websites and organizations such as:
Carolina Gardener Magazine The South Carolina Gardener National Home Gardening Magazine Tri-County Master Gardener Newsletter Coastal Carolina Camellia Society Newsletter (Current Editor) Lowcountry Fruit Growers Society Newsletter (Current Editor) Contributing writer Hidden Ponds Nursery Newsletter The American Camellia Societies Camellia Journal
Darren's Featured Articles
Succulent Basics 101
What Is Arbor Day and Why Do We Celebrate It?
Seven Easy Tropical Houseplants
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