Speaking of nature’s ability to survive in even the most inhospitable conditions, as I was on Friday, we had another example over the weekend. No, not the England fans who survived the heat, the beer and the bitterness of defeat in Gelsenkirchen, but a bunch of ants in our garden.
It started with one of Mrs P’s potted plants which had suddenly died. She bought a replacement and set about potting it on Friday. As she dug, she realised what had caused the previous plant to perish – under the soil thousands of ants had built a nest and had killed off the roots.
Mrs P’s plan of action was to turn over the soil to expose the ants and then to lay down ant powder to get rid of the blighters. She did this several times on Friday evening and again on Saturday morning, but there were still thousands of them swarming all pot, laughing in the face of ant powder.
“Time for the nuclear option,” I said. “Or rather the scorched earth policy.”
We tipped the content of the pot into our incinerator dustbin, gave it a liberal squirt of BBQ lighter fluid and tossed in a match. Whoomph! We replaced the lid and left the ants to their fate, although quite a few had managed to escape through the air holes at the bottom of the bin.
The bin burned away for most of the day and into the evening, but we are now ant-less, or at least that particular nest. Now I know it isn’t big or clever to wantonly destroy nature’s creations, but sadly there are times when nature can be a real pain in the arse.