Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Ants can be beneficial or harmful in the garden. First they irrigate the soil and for the most part don't harm the plants. Some are predacious on a wide variety of insects. However some ants like carpenter ants are harmful not to the garden itself but to any wood used for structures. Even smaller ants can cause a wide variety of problems in the house. Some can inflict painful stings as well. Other than the carpenter ants, I haven't really tried to identify the ants we have as they seem to be beneficial for the most part. For the most part though, I think ants are pretty cool!

Black Ants with larvae

The vegetable garden was originally outlined with larger rocks. When we removed the rocks to extend the garden we came across several ant colonies. Now, I find any kind of insect fascinating! I just had to take pictures of the ants and the larvae. These ants are fairly common in the garden. They don't do any damage to the plants so I leave them be. Sometimes I disturb a nest while planting. Then there is a host of activity! The ants scurrey about to protect the young by moving them deeper into the colony tunnels.

Red Ants with larvae

We also have reddish brown ants in the garden. They don't bother the plants either and I seldom see them. When the rock was turned to reveal the colony it suddenly bust into a buzz of activity. The ants came to move the larvae to safety. It is interesting how such a small critter can lift something almost it's weight and size with seemingly little effort!


We have only noticed this activity on our front sidewalk yet have no idea what causes it. A stretch of about three feet suddenly becomes swarmed with ants. The phenomena only occurs in this one area. We have no idea as to why or what causes it. Since it is close to the house the ant colonies are destroyed with boiling water.

My philosophy as always is to let Mother Nature take it's course. So as far as ants go unless they are doing any damage, let them be. To keep ants out of areas where you don't want them, like the kitchen, keep the area as clean as possible all the time. Sprinkle cinnamon or mint oil, neither of which ants like. Bay leaves will work too.

Happy Gardening

Garden Gnome


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