Hi Kaitlin, I had no idea at all the the gardner was going to change out the soil when he did! -So this came as a surprise as well! I'm so sorry that it put a damper on your stay. He does that once every season because the foliage is so important to the beauty of the house - and unfortunately we weren't notified. This is definitely not the normal environment of the patio. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay otherwise. As for the ants on the patio,- I'm out there all the time and have never seen or experienced that?! ( Perhaps they had something to do with those days of the new soil delivered? but they are not there now.) All the same, thanks for staying and huge apologies for the timing of the soil switch out!