I’m a big fan of Coneflowers aka Echinacea for it’s medicinal purposes (it’s my go to when I feel a cold coming on). Photographing these flowers is equally lovely. And these flowering perennial plants are incredibly bee-friendly!
Coming to life around mid-summer, their colorful pinkish-lavender blooms are hard to miss. As the cycle of my other favorite flowers to photograph starts to fade, bee-friendly coneflowers take center stage. There are still a few California poppies to be found and some straggling Bachelor’s buttons are hanging on. But the Coneflowers are in their blooming prime.
Community Gardens and Around the Neighborhood
Growing in select patches within the community gardens, I’ve since figured out where they will appear. However, this year they did not look as good as seasons past. Initially this was a bit disappointing as I look forward to photographing them.
Thankfully all hope was not lost as I discovered a thriving patch of Coneflowers within walking distance in my neighborhood.
Out on an early Sunday morning walk one weekend I discovered these happily blooming Coneflowers. As this was the first summer living in this area, I had no idea these flowers would pop up in this location.
Making a mental note, a few days later I walked back over to the patch with camera in hand.
The bees were going crazy and who could blame them!
I came armed with my little stool and garden pad and positioned myself among the flowers. I’m sure the folks driving by on the street were wondering what I was doing? But I was in my happy place among the Echinacea flowers and buzzing bees!
The lightening was not the best on that morning, but being it was so close by I was able to go back again for more photo ops.
Finding these flowers blooming so close by was an unexpected treat. It confirms what incredible discoveries you can make when you set out around your neighborhood on foot!
The Discovery of Other Coneflower Varieties
Whenever need to make a stop at a home improvement center I always meander through the garden center first. It’s makes for a nice floral segue into their industrial interiors. On a recent visit to Lowes, I made my way to the garden center as per usual. Knowing fall is right around the corner, there is usually an abundance of colorful mums or other late summer flowers at this time.
On this day it led to the discovery of numerous varieties of Coneflowers I had never seen before.
From the Artisan Collection of Soft Orange Echinacea, Cheyenne Spirit Coneflowers to Sombrero® Tres Amigo perennial Coneflowers. I was in awe! The only thing missing was my camera!!
Honey bees and oranges-belted bumble bees were converging on the flowers from all sides. The flowers were big, bright, colorful and looking mighty healthy in their full bloom state. There was plenty of pollen to go around.
I took out my phone to capture some photos. My phone camera is less than ideal, but I could not leave the scene empty-handed!
If the flowers themselves were not enough to behold and the busy bees, the icing on the cake was when a Monarch butterfly showed up!! Having recently written a post about how I had not seen a Monarch out in Nature for close to 7 years, I was speechless!
With Monarch butterfly populations in such decline, it was an opportunity not to be missed. Once again the phone camera came out. Chasing a fluttering Monarch on Coneflowers was no small task. I was sooo wishing for my actual camera – but it’s not something I normally carry to a home improvement garden center!
More Bees Please!
The bees absolutely love these Echinacea flowers. Back to the neighborhood patch, I once again I get the privilege to get to observe and photograph their lives.
I’d say they’re oblivious to me – focused on the pollinating task at hand. But I, on the other hand am mesmerized. It’s scene I never tire of. Their little bodies covered in yellow pollen as they make their way from flower to flower. I’m so grateful they’re there 🙂