Friday, June 12, 2015

Annoying Ants and Astonishing Blooms

A beautiful garden in the Irish countryside. (From my travels, last month.) Great inspiration for what I'd like to do with my own garden. Of course, I need a centuries old farmhouse to complete the picture!
In the last, exciting episode of the Long Neglected Garden... :) I was weeding and weeding... and weeding some more. Not much has changed.

Though, I have moved onto the murderous activity of evicting ants from the property!
A pretty Iris graces my own garden (planted many moons ago.)
Ants, despicable ants. Depending upon where you live, ants are either a minor nuisance or a majorly painful experience. My [red] ants are aggressive and, most of the time, quite secretive.

Yet another gorgeous Iris I don't remember planting. Probably a rhyzome from my Mother's garden.
I uproot a large perennial, or move a big rock, and bam! In an instant! Both arms and both legs are covered, literally covered, hundreds of ants scurrying up my arms and legs. Doing battle with the human who dared disrupt their living quarters.

I keep the hose handy, spraying myself off before they bite. Then I flood their anthill.

Blissful blues. A drift of Penstamon at my 'other' garden. I'm planning to steal a few of these for the new garden, once they have finished flowering.

Okay, fine, that sounds terribly mean spirited, but I want those freeloading ants gone! ['Tis true they don't harm your garden, but if they are so plentiful, and aggressive, that they begin harming me, then it is time to serve the eviction notice.)

Once their home becomes a lake, those vicious ants will pack their bags and head to drier ground.

In between rain showers, Bob & I hopped on the horses and went for a ride. Our near constant rains are rivaling Oregon's wet climate and the wildflowers are going bonkers!

We rode our horses through a vast meadow, filled with wildflowers.

I spotted the Tansy flower growing out in that meadow.

For one, evil, moment I contemplated harvesting the seeds, adding it to my arsenal. Did you know that Tansy flowers will kill ants? Yup! Plus, ticks, flies, you name it. It's very toxic.

That's probably how it got out there. Someone looking for a 'natural' way to rid themselves of these infernal ants. But, Tansy grows so well that it is now deemed a noxious weed in 47 states.

So, I shall stick to drowning those infernal ants. Much easier than uprooting Tansy, from my gardens, for the rest of my life.

* Most people recommend using boiling water on ants but it doesn't seem all that necessary. They hate water, at any temperature. Periodically flooding their anthill generally sends them packing. If you have a neighbor you don't particularly care for... consider guiding them in that direction. :)

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Rilly said...

Ants and country living....can't have one without the other. Luckily we have birds that feast on most of them and a powder that takes care of those in the mounds.

Janie said...

The riding sounds more fun than weeding the garden and getting bitten by ants!
The flowers are looking good. Love that photo of the Irish garden.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Ireland - this year - so far! That's all you need to have the Irish gardens, is cool and rainy winters and mild and wet summers...the stone will take care of itself!