When we moved in and decided we wanted a garden, I tilled the area. I did this without knowing what was underfoot. I did it before anything was discernible. Turns out I had mowed over a bunch of beautiful peonies. This year, I let them come up...seeing as they are perennial. However, they are now covered in ants. I was speaking to a friend about this and she recommended putting coffee grinds at the base to deter ants. Hmmm. So, not knowing much about peonies or ants, I did. Success! After doing some research, however, I have found conflicting conversation regarding the ants' presence on a peony. www.peonies.org makes note that the ants could be beneficial in helping the buds to open. www.gardenopus.com says that the buds will open whether in the presence of ants or not. No one seems to really know.
What have I learned? Coffee grounds deter ants. I should use them around the base of the house, perhaps. I should leave the peonies alone and let nature do it's thing. At least the ants might leave my kitchen alone while eating the sweet resin from the peonies.