By Lauren Lewis
In honor of Halloween season, we thought we’d highlight the super important and “scary” garden resident: the spider. Most people are very familiar with the idea of beneficial insects, who control the population of unwanted insect pests by eating them, but we normally think of a cute ladybug eating aphids off roses. Studies have shown that in fact spiders are often the most important category of arthropods for maintaining healthy species balance in a garden.
Wolf spiders (a category with many species) are important in SF gardens because they are aggressive ground-dwelling hunters as opposed to web builders, so as a group, they’re eating more insects. They love mulch in the garden because they can hide among the tiny spaces it creates, so spider protection is just one of the many reasons we use a lot of mulch in our gardens.
Our design outlook is about appreciating and supporting all the living and nonliving elements that make a piece of nature function, and spiders have an under-appreciated but vital part to play.