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Can you test the leaves for smell. That will tell inula from telekia
My I. helenium is that big but very much over and I assume this is a current photo.
When does I. magnifica flower?
I'm not a concrete expert, though I can mix it if necessary.
I wouldn't dig, you need a firm base. If you want to remove some soil, slice it off.
and after that the acorns are ready
Is that the one that was popular in it's variegated form a few years ago?
Maybe still popular but mine died
I was going to suggest one of the inulas.
But will be happy with the telekia. They have very pungent leaves if you squeeze them to confirm.
Welcome Northern Lass,
I Iove the garden and your attitude to its other inhabitants
Is that where they go?
I've rarely harvested a nut. I never see a squirrel here except at hazel time when they nick them long before they're ready to harvest
Anyone can be allergic to anything Polly. A red swollen circle sounds more like an insect bite though