Find the Finch!

September 13, 2017

By: Barb Holtz

Everyone should have at least one crazy tall, herbaceous, native perennial in their yard. Why? Because it's cool! Trees and other woody plants should not corner the market on height. There is something magical and "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"-like about wading under a canopy of stout stems topped with summer colors. Cup Plant, Ironweed, Joe-Pye and so many others are literally giants in the field.

I have Cup Plants throughout my yard and am tickled by the goldfinches that scatter from the seed heads when I walk by. Perched high atop the stem, finches search for seed, perfectly camouflaged among the yellow blooms. I can imagine them chittering to one another, "Look at this smorgasbord! And we don't even have to fly down to get it. It's served up in the sky!"

Pollinators get top billing these days as a reason for planting natives and rightfully so. But let's not forget the other half of the phrase "birds and the bees".  Autumn acts as winter's get-ready time and the feathered are pressed to power eat nature's bounty. Migrate or stay, shorter days and cooler temperatures require energy. Why not supply dining courses literally on many levels. Grow a giant. It's for the birds.

Find the Finch!
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