I’ve learned not to trust myself to remember every little obstacle hidden in the tall grass.
The reason for removing the top growth is to facilitate observation of the various growth stages of each species. Getting to know the plants at different times of the year was my primary motivation for creating this garden.
Even though Western Sunflower will grow to a height of six feet or more, most of the leaves remain at ground level, so the plant must make full use of early season sunlight before it becomes shaded by neighboring plants.
It is now everywhere around the yard.
Large ant mounds provide an ideal growing environment. All of my yard mounds harbor this weed and the plant is beginning to show up on ant mounds in the fields.
These are the basal leaves of Gray-headed Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata.
A morning low of 11 degrees doesn’t seem to have done any damage to the leaves.
Deer browse heavily on this plant in the early spring, but ignore it later on. I imagine that more suitable forage becomes available as the season progresses.
There seems to be a rabbit’s nest in the garden every year. Usually she digs up some plant that I’m particularly sorry to lose.