Thursday, April 23, 2009

At home in the garden

It was Earth Day. And I spent most of it up to my elbows in the stuff. Earth.

First, I re-potted and trimmed all but one of my houseplants. Then I moved outside, and repotted most of the outside container plants, divided the hostas, transplanted some of the London Pride*, trimmed the evergreens, ripped out a mountain of moss, top-dressed the second half of the garden with manure, and repositioned a wire fence.

A pleasant, contemplative day; I love digging in the dirt!

For the smaller hostas, I decided to use a planter box that had spent the winter upside-down in a dry spot. When I flipped it over, I found it full of spider webs. I brushed some away, and a big Tegenaria rushed out.

Tegenaria domestica, probably.

Good view of the row of eyes.

Several clumps of frass hung in the box; I fished this one out to examine it.


I thought I could identify what she's been eating, but other than that ridged thing, which I think is the remains of a woodbug, nothing there is identifiable. Yet it all came from her food, since nothing could fall into her cozy upside-down house; it all walked or slithered or crawled in through the cracks between the boards. She's quite a tidy housekeeper, and ties up her garbage and hangs it out to dry well away from her nest area.

There's always the worry, with these; is she a hobo spider, T. agrestis? Does she bite, is she aggressive, is she venomous? I went back to check my list of identifying marks from last year.

Let's see: I didn't get a look at the underside, nor the top of the cephalothorax. But she has dark rings around her legs, and pointy pedipalps. She's not a hobo; no need to evict her.

I put the box back where I found it, and found another planter for my hostas.

*This (the London Pride link) was from my previous blog. Reading it over, I found a few posts that I think are worth reposting on this blog, starting with my "Shade garden" series, since we're in planting season again.



  1. I am always amazed at your closeups. And some of your subjects are probably not the easiest subjects to take a pose. I was planting some strawberries I had stored in a barrel over the winter. When I pulled them out there were lots of spiders underneath. I'm not sure what kind, but they made a hasty retreat after their leafy jungle disappeared. - Margy

  2. I have been working in the garden allot much fun.
    That spider looks very healthy and full of bugs...and I think it needs to shave its hairy legs. LOL

  3. Thanks, Margy! I take a lot of duds, too.

    Dawn; I'll tell her, next time I see her. Maybe she needs a depilatory.



If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!