Ants and Peonies
Peonies and Ants have a long standing relationship. I have no idea how it started or how deep their love goes, but rarely are a Peonies’ buds without their partner, the ant.
Some say that the Peony bud can’t open without the ant. Others say that isn’t true. All sorts of theories exist for untold hours of reading, that hopefully someday I will be comfy in a hammock with a lovely Ice Coffee and I will dive into the topic enthusiastically. For now, I know that in my yard, ants arrive without warning and march over the buds ferociously until it opens and then they disappear unseen until next years buds call them out.
I also know that should I cut buds early to open inside in a vase without the ant, disappointingly, they don’t, at least in my Northern Vermont Non-Horticulturist home. How this amazing process works or why, I can’t say. But I can say that the result is magnificent and their perfume intoxicating.
And I wonder, how does such a huge, fluffy looking flower head fit into such a tiny bud? You would never get it back in there, no matter your folding skills.
I have three peonies under my kitchen window. I know that every year, when the peonies bloom, I will have ants in the kitchen. I used to get all wigged out and try to kill every last one fearing they would invade my house, but now I am patient. They leave when the peonies are finished flowering.