Peonies and wisteria!Ants are ESSENTIAL to peony buds turning into blooms- they nibble the buds open. So getting rid of all the ants on your peony bush is bound to lead to gardening disappointment. BTDT.
The flowers look lovely when in bloom but people don't realize that ants love peonies and big bees love wisteria. Cutting peonies from the back yard means you will almost certainly get ants in the house. A trained wisteria bush looks wonderful over your front door and the bees can be seen as a sort of security system but, you have been warned.
When my dad was a kid, he and one of his brothers thought they'd be helpful. They'd noticed that their mother's beloved peony bush was covered with beetles (maybe it was ants, but this is how he tells the story), so they picked every single one of them off. Then they proudly told their mother what they'd done. They were so disappointed to realize that they'd actually ruined things for the peony bush by picking off the crucial bugs. Oops.
Speaking of bees, we have a beehive under our shed, we think. We have *tons* of bees buzzing around. Huge, giant bumblebees. We're very pleased, as we have big garden plans this year. The only difficulty is that I think the bees can't get through bird netting because they're so big. So I've been trying to peel back the bird netting on our strawberry plants (they're in flower already) so the bees can have access during the day, but put the netting back for the night to keep the deer and such out. I'm pleased to think that we might be helping the bee population by letting them keep their hive and enjoy our yard/flowers.