The first year that my peony (peeny if you are from the Midwest) came up I was very shocked to see all these ants all over the blooms. I asked my Mom what I could do about it and she told me to leave the ants alone because they help to open up the blooms. I was truly amazed at this but thought before I post about it I better do some research. Unfortunately I found that this is an old wives tale and the ants do not actually open the blooms, they just love the sweet secretion from the peony.
I myself, choose to believe what my Mom told me. It is much more magical but most importantly a treasured memory passed down to me from my Mom.
Photo by Brian