Our star crossed artichokes are growing. The aphids have taken note & set up residence under the leaves of one plant in particular. Our soil is thick with ants. When we first moved into our house, ants launched a monumental assault on the house. Outside, if you'd stick a shovel into the ground, the soil was boiling with ants. We heavily mulched the soils around the house for years, which seemed to dissipate the ant population. But it's still an issue as you can see by the thick covering of underside of the leaves on the artichoke plant pictured above.
I picked up some lady bugs to introduce in the garden tonight. I've tried using lady bugs in the past without much success. The ladybirds seemed overwhelmed in the past & frankly not very interested in eating. Perhaps they were on a diet.
I'm hoping these fine red shelled friends are voraciously hungry and will enjoy the feast.