Wednesday, July 16, 2014

GGBD: What Do You Call a Plethora of Coneflowers?

I arrived home from Portland after midnight Monday night and am still trying to get back into my usual routine.  Three days of non-stop garden viewing--what an incredible experience!  As soon as I can get all my photos organized, I'll share some of these amazing gardens with you.  What I will tell you now, though, is that Portland has to be a gardener's paradise--I'm convinced that they can grow almost anything, and that plants grow bigger and better in the Pacific Northwest than anywhere else. 

But yesterday was Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, and I didn't want to miss out, even though my camera needs re-charging as much as I do, and I haven't taken many photos at home.  There are lilies blooming galore, including the first 'Stargazer,' which was a lovely welcome home yesterday morning.  Phlox, hydrangeas, cosmos, a few zinnias,  and one lone little purple poppy are creating a riot of color in the garden on this July Bloom Day.  But what everyone notices first in my garden are the purple coneflowers.  This is one plant that, if I may say so, grows as well in the Midwest, if not better, as in Portland.

When I say I have an abundance of coneflowers, I am not exaggerating.  I leave the plants standing in the fall for the birds, and the cold, harsh winter this past year must have been ideal for them.  I pulled a few and gave away others, but I didn't have the heart to really thin them. 

And they're everywhere! This started me thinking--if we have names for groups of animals, like a gaggle of geese or a murder of crows, why not a name for a large group of plants as well?  I might call this a sea of coneflowers in the sidewalk bed.

Or a profusion of coneflowers in the roadside bed.

How about a medley of coneflowers in the Arbor Bed?

I don't have many cultivars, other than this 'Big Sky Sunset' and the 'White Swan' above.  Almost all the coneflowers are the common Echinacea Purpurea, or else we might call them a myriad of coneflowers.

I like alliteration, so perhaps a good term would be a conglomeration of coneflowers.

Or a convocation of coneflowers?

From a different perspective, a pulpit of coneflowers sounds appropriate.

Or another point of view--perhaps a stage of coneflowers?

More alliteration--possibly, a collation of coneflowers.

Or maybe a congregation of coneflowers?

A caboodle of coneflowers sounds playful to me.

As you can see, when the coneflowers bloomed, the butterflies seemed to magically appear as well.  I followed the first Monarch with my phone as it fluttered from one bloom to another.  Maybe the best choice for a term in this case would be a delight of coneflowers.

For the bees, though, the garden has become a buffet of coneflowers.

They, too, are happy to see these flowers and might call them a delirium of coneflowers.

Perhaps a new word altogether needs to be coined to describe such a bounty of blooms, such as a conflabulation of coneflowers.  Whatever you want to call this abundance, you can see why coneflowers are not only my favorite flower, but a favorite of so many beautiful creatures in my garden as well.

Thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting this each month and giving us a showcase for sharing blooms from all over the world.


  1. Whatever you choose to call your coneflowers Rose, I have to say they are absolutely amazing.
    I now have total and complete coneflower envy.
    I dream of plantings like this.

    A great post Rose, and very clever the way you have put it together.

    Hope you feel less tired tomorrow, have a good day..........

  2. Oh, I am envious! I have tried to grow Coneflowers, but those bleepity-bleep woodchucks ate them every time! "Convocation of Coneflowers" is my favorite, though a "delight" is nice too. Love the picture of the finch on the "pulpit!"

  3. What a fun, creative post, Rose! I have an abundance of them as well. Hey, was that one of your words for them? Well, actually, I have been feeling it's an overabundance. Last night, I went around looking for areas where they were crowding other plants, and did pull some. Larry came out and was a bit shocked at what I was doing. There are still plenty of them out there, and since I have had some get aster yellows, this may help prevent that in some of them. Yours look nice and healthy.

  4. I can't hardly wait to see and read all about your trip Rose. I love the coneflowers. Mine took a hard hit this winter. I think mine need more sun. You have all that sunshine. What ever it is I am glad to see yours doing so well.

  5. Convocation is a new word for me. I have to go Google it now! I love all your new terms for the coneflowers. Thinking sea of coneflowers and medley are perfect terms. Wow! Those finches will eat well there!

  6. Don't you love coneflowers? Mine don't look nearly as lush as yours, but I'm hoping they will multiply and fill in more space in coming years. Your blooms are just gorgeous!

  7. Wow - the bees and butterflies and finches must be so happy in your garden!

    I've got quite a few coneflowers here in TN too. (Though not nearly as many you do.)

    I find they are very heat tolerant, but struggle in a hot drought if they're not watered. (Since I'm a cruel Darwinian gardener, I rarely water my perennials. I'm curious to see how tough they are.)

    As for a group of coneflowers -- how about a Pride of Coneflowers (like with lions) :P

  8. What a delightful series of photos! Your coneflowers look so healthy, too --no insect damage. The few I have that are still alive tend to get eaten up by the Japanese Beetles.

    The photos with the butterflies are my favorites. At one time I did have a wonderful coneflower (given to me from a division by my father-in-law), and one summer it was literally covered with butterflies of every type. I miss that in my garden :-)

  9. Fabulous photos. I love coneflowers. I espeially enjoyed your display.

  10. So beautiful! I noticed today that my coneflowers are just getting started. You captured them so well.

  11. THAT is a plethora of Coneflowers! I'm not sure I've seen that many big, healthy ones in one place before. I've noticed that the Echinaceas are extra full and colorful this year. The monarchs showed up in my garden, too, when they started blooming. :)

  12. Whatever they are called collectively..... I have to agree that they are really beautiful. Love the way you caught that little bird and the butterfly enjoying them too.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  13. Cheryl, I often think that when you visited here, you really didn't see much in my garden. Of course, I have added more space since then, but also I have more summer or spring bloomers than fall. Everything really is looking good right now, even if I do say so myself.

    Cosmos, Coneflowers have always done well here; maybe that's why I love them so much!

    Sue, Fingers crossed, but so far all mine have been healthy. Yes, I've pulled a few, too, and plan to pull out a bunch more when the blooms begin to fade, but it hurts to do that:)

    Lisa, I think the coneflowers liked this winter. Will post about my trip as soon as I can get organized--wish you had come along!

  14. I adore coneflowers, mine are just beginning to open, only small plants as I have grown them from seed but such a delight - to me and the butterflies! I love your vast swathes of them, very effective. Look forward to seeing your Portland photos!

  15. Rose girl what a perfect post !
    You have so many wonderful pictures here I hesitate to say I like one above the rest but that sweet Goldfinch perched on one of the cone flowers is gorgeous : )
    I am jealous of the "fling" it must have been wonderful to just talk and think garden for those days with like minded gardeners !
    Cute post and you have so many options for naming a group of coneflowers .. I can't choose!
    Joy : )

  16. Lydia, thanks; I'm loving all these blooms!

    Tina, it's definitely a feast for the goldfinches!

    Dorothy, coneflowers always do well for me, but this year has been exceptional.

    Aaron, wish I could capture all the butterflies that are swarming these blooms. A Pride of coneflowers--perfect!

  17. Cassi, I hate to say it for fear of jinxing the garden, but I haven't seen a single Japanese beetle here yet. One more reason this is a perfect summer!

    Patsy Bell, thanks for visiting--I'm afraid I couldn't access your blog, but I remember meeting you at the Chicago Fling.

    Gardener, I think this is my favorite time in the summer when the coneflowers are at their peak.

    Beth, I've never had as many coneflowers as this year, and that's after pulling a bunch! They really are a butterfly magnet.

    Maggie, the large blooms of the coneflowers make the perfect perch for butterflies and finches, which makes it easier to get a good photo. I really chased that Monarch around, though:)

  18. I grew a couple of new coneflowers from seed this year, but it might take them another year or so to bloom. The ones I have don't seem to seed themselves, I don't know if that is how you have come to have so many? While I live in the PNW, it seems mostly the weeds that spread really well by themselves. The one fancy coneflower I bought on clearance last fall looked great then but failed to come back this year. I like your butterfly and bee photos, one looks like the sweat bees I've been fascinated with this year. I've wondered how the spiky stuff in the disks of the coneflowers feels on their tiny feet. I guess they don't mind it. I wish my coneflowers would thicken up like yours!

  19. What beauties Rose! Here the collective noun would be a lack of coneflowers as my only specimen has been munched by a mollusc. I did have two but the other drowned during the last rather wet winter. Looking forward to seeing and hearing about the Portland gardens you visited when you have had time to catch your breath :)

  20. I have no idea what you would call a plethora of coneflowers except beautifully amazing. I did not have even one coneflower return. The deer and rabbits are eating everything I plant.

    I love how the butterflies and bees are frequenting this amazing mass of purple flowers. You are doing a good thing. Leave them - at least for this year.

  21. Whatever you call them they are gorgeous en mass! I am soooo jealous, I have one pitiful purpurea in my garden which comes up every year but looks just as sad every year. I have tried other cultivars but my garden is really not suited for coneflowers, too much shade, too many tall plants that arrives much earlier and shade out those emerging coneflowers. I have to resort to enjoy them on your blog instead, which I did!

  22. You grow a lot of nice coneflowers! it's pity I can't grow them, have no idea why they do not grow here. I love coneflowers especially white ones. The insects love them as well!

  23. They really are doing a good job for the wildlife. So pretty too. I like your goldfinch, just waiting for the seed to mature.

  24. What an amazing array of coneflowers, they look stunning all grouped together like that! I rather like a 'medley of coneflowers' :-)

  25. My vote: caboodle of coneflowers. What a whimsical bloom day! The coneflowers are blooming in Maine too.

  26. Wow, that is a serious amount of coneflowers and they are gorgeous! I particularly love the photo with the little yellow bird sitting on top. Wish I could grow these but I had that awful aster's disease and had to pull the couple I had planted. Would I love a sea of pink flowers right now.

  27. Whatever you call them, you sure have a lot of them Rose! They are beautiful - love seeing all the wild things enjoying them.

    I have cousins in Portland. They 'emigrated' there from CA - have yet to visit them there but sure would love to make the trip with my mom. I know we'd love it.

  28. Wow, that is a nice sea, conglomeration, or whatever-have-you of Coneflowers! I love Coneflowers, and I love how they attract such a variety of wildlife. Purple coneflowers were one of the first plants I put in here in my new garden, and they're doing terrifically. Thankfully Coneflowers are pretty hardy and forgiving, too!

  29. Wow ! What gorgeous flowers !!!
    And the amazing shots with butterflies !

  30. I bet the coneflowers are just breathtaking in person and all the creatures they attract are such a welcome bonus. I just love the way the light catches in the those spiky plumes in the flower centre. You captured that beautifully in that last image.
    P.S. I'm looking forward to seeing the gardens from this year's fling.

  31. I vote for “pulpit” or “caboodle.” What a delightful post! How fun. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely coneflowers and pollinators with us, Rose.


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