Avid gardeners will learn how to bring the sweet taste of citrus to their own backyard at the workshop taught by citrus grower John Panzarella. The event will be held on Saturday, February 28th, 2015, from 10 am to noon at the Kingwood Garden Center.
After retiring from his job as a chemical engineer, Panzarella found a new passion growing citrus trees on his ¾ acre home in Lake Jackson along Oyster Creek. Citrus growing was a happy accident, as he turned to it only after his peach, pecan and apple trees failed to thrive.
His garden now boasts over 200 different varieties of citrus, which is the largest collection in Texas. His secret, which he shares with workshop attendees, is proper care as well as the proper root stock for the citrus. "A lot of would be citrus gardeners are frustrated because the trees they pick up at the local stores are on root stock that doesn't grow well here and the variety itself was bred to grow in a different climate."
In addition to his varied collection of citrus varieties, he has cultivated both a lemon and orange variety that are both named for him. Another happy accident, the new varieties came up on their own beside his compost pile. The Panzarella Orange produces so much juice that one orange can fill a glass. The Panzarella Lemon grows in clusters of six, each bunch weighing up to 10 pounds.
Each year as winter is ending, John Panzarella gives a citrus and fruit tree growing workshop in Kingwood hosted by the Kingwood Garden Center. "John is one of our most popular speakers of the year," states Joy Hanold, manager of the Kingwood Garden Center. "Many who attend never thought they could grow citrus, but are inspired after hearing him speak.
The workshop will be held on Saturday, February 28th from 10 am to noon. The Kingwood Garden Center is located one block behind Steinmart at 1216 Stonehollow in Kingwood, Texas. The workshop is free and participants will be able to sample a selection of Panzarella's citrus varieties. For more information visit www.kingwoodgardencenter.com or call (281) 358-1805.