10 Aug 2009

A Loveliness of Ladybirds …


Apparently we're experiencing an abundance of ladybirds this summer in the UK, emerging to feed greedily on the glut of aphids which our weather has encouraged (ironically, however, declining to feast on the aphids on my strawberries).

Small children, usually spotted (ho, ho) with one small red bug trailing over their hands, now have them by the potful. The press have seized on this summertime news with lurid pictures of swarms of ladybirds in biblical proportions (here and here - opens in new window) and, for those of a grammatical bent, flagged up the collective noun for this gathering which is a Loveliness of Ladybirds. (All together now… "aaaahhh".)

Which has set me thinking about collective nouns. I was unable to find any for garden produce - apart from the well-known 'hand of bananas' or 'rope of onions' - so I offer you these thoughts: how about
  • a march of mint
  • a blessing of beetroot
  • a conundrum of carrots (you never quite know how they'll turn out)
  • a marathon of beans
  • a hearing (or audience?) of sweetcorn (think about it)
  • a league of lettuces
Any more suggestions?

P.S. Children wanting to know more about ladybirds, including a colouring sheet, click here

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