Garden Photo of the Day

Eric in South Carolina

Blooms from his home and work gardens

large mass of blue flowers

Today’s photos are from Eric Shealy, a horticulturalist who works at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, South Carolina.

two large pink camellia flowersGardening in South Carolina means beautiful flowers can arrive any day of the year, like this lovely Camellia ‘Nuccio’s Cameo’ (Zone 7–10) which he photographed on January 1. What a way to ring in a new year!

bright orange and yellow flowers on a spireThe beautiful Gladiolus ‘Halloweenie’—named for its habit of blooming very late in the year. This is a form of the species Gladiolus dalenii, native to Africa, and is one of the main parent plants of modern hybrid gladiolus. It is hardier than most modern gladiolus (Zones 7–10) and has a more wild, informal look to the bloom spike.

pink and white cosmos flowersClouds of cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus, annual) at the entrance to the children’s garden at the zoo where Eric works

large mass of blue flowersThese morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor, annual) are living up to their name. Who cares that the blooms will fade by the afternoon when they are so beautiful in the morning?

large light pink flowersIt’s the peak of summer flowering in Eric’s home garden. Rudbeckia maxima (Zones 4–9) is the tall yellow flower in the back, and in the foreground are the huge pink blooms of Crinum ‘Ellen Bosanquet’ (Zones 8–10).

garden cart full of Salvias of different colorsA happy view for any gardener: a cart full of plants (in this case, a variety of different selections of the genus Salvia) ready to get planted.

large white and yellow flowerEric propagated this particularly precious camellia plant from a favorite shrub at his grandmother’s house. He took cuttings before the house was sold, and now it and three others have rooted and are growing and blooming. He’s not sure of the variety name, so if anyone knows, please pass it on!

spires of purple and white flowersSalvia leucantha (Zones 7–10) blooms late in the season, sending off the gardening year with a bang and providing lots of nectar for the last migrating hummingbirds.

If you want to see more from Eric, check out his instagram: @greeneryisforme


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View Comments


  1. jos29803 05/04/2022

    Absolutely stunning!!!

  2. btucker9675 05/04/2022

    Wonderful! Those cosmos are so welcoming to the children's garden - you can't help but smile!

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/04/2022

    That Camellia ‘Nuccio’s Cameo is out of this world!

  4. User avater
    simplesue 05/04/2022

    The zoo is lucky to have a true garden lover like Eric working there, you can tell he loves plants and gardening!
    Love that Morning Glory photos!
    I totally understand his sentimental feelings for a special camellia plant and rooting cuttings to plant at another home!
    And wow his Crinum ‘Ellen Bosanquet’ are just amazing!

  5. User avater
    bdowen 05/04/2022

    Such an intense color on those morning glories! I love the story about the camellia he propagated. It's wonderful to have full of those memories and stories.

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