The Amazing Spidermum

We’ve done it again! For the second year in a row, we managed to accidentally allow the bushes in our big wooden porch planters to die. Oh the shame.

Chalk it up to a miscommunication. Sherry thought I was watering them. I thought she was. Clara didn’t have a clue who was watering what (or what watering even is) and all the while Burger was “watering” plants in the back. By the time we realized our folly it was too late (although Sherry desperately dumped five cups of water a day on them for the last few weeks to no avail). So I’d say we’re equally to blame for our plants getting a bit on the crispy side. And we’re sad. But we had to fess up and keep it real, so there you have it. Picture us looking shamefaced at the ground and vowing to do better next time.

Since fall is upon us, we took a page from our own book and, like last year, picked up two yellow mums at Home Depot (for $18 total) to take their place. But there was a new element to deal with this year. In case you missed it in the first photo, let’s take a closer look (warning: there’s about to be a close up photo of a spider)…

…and, if you can stomach it, let’s go even closer (here it comes)…

There it was. Feel free to blame any nightmares you have tonight on us. Is that not the most scary, hermit-crab-looking spider you’ve ever seen? And are those long pointy legs not the most villainous limbs you’ve seen in a while? He’s practically making the skull and cross bone shape you see on poisonous bottles like arsenic. And because we weren’t about to hold up a dollar bill for scale, you can’t tell just how big he is. But if you scroll back to the picture above this one you’ll see that he’s about half as big as the light bulb. Which is giant. And terrifying.

We discovered our new “friend” at the start of this mum project. Who knows how long he had been hanging out there (since we rarely use the front door). But one thing was for sure: he wanted to eat our faces off (according to my always trustworthy internet research, human face is a delicacy amongst the giant spider species). Okay, maybe not. But he still was not something I wanted to be around.

So as fast as I could, I yanked the dead bushes out of their planters…

…and plopped the new mums (containers and all) in their place, right on top of the leftover dirt.

Not bad for a speedy planting job, if I do say so myself.

And since these babies are hardy, we’ll plant them (not in their pots) somewhere else in our yard after the fall season. You know, so we won’t have to wait three more seasons for them to look good again on the porch.

Best part about it? The spider didn’t dive bomb my pretty little head in the process. Good spider, good spider…

Having come out of this unscathed, I was eager to snap my “after” photo and call it day (of course we still need a new doormat and have larger porch plans – like framing out the columns, painting the wood siding, and staining the concrete floor).

But stepping away now would let the bad guys spiders win. I know they’re “good pests” but they’re not so welcome at face height right outside the front door. So I used my trusty broom and gave its web a quick swing, in hopes of not-too-harshly evicting my eight-legged visitor…

In a surprise turn of spider-related events, he jumped into one of our new mums. Oh the irony.

He seemed ok with it (meaning he didn’t eat my face).

Oh, and FYI – the spider has now changed addresses and lives in the mum on the left. Thought you should be warned in case you’re planning to come sell us some Girl Scout cookies or something.

Pssst- The lady-wife did a fun little phone interview that just went live here (click the play button next to the little audio sign over on the site to listen in). Oh yeah, and click here to see this week’s lucky Ikea gift card winners.


  1. Cali says

    I always kill my plants within two weeks… I have given up on growing anything around my house… I love the yellow mums against the brick!

  2. Tressa Meacham says

    Hey – I just bought yellow mums at Costco and they have died already. I think it is too much water and not enough drainage in the container I put them in.

    • says

      Oh man- so sorry! We are just watering ours every few days. Maybe a cup of water each every three days? So far, so good! But we have been known to kill stuff so…


  3. Lexi M says

    I have been seeing a lot more of those spiders around lately. They are crazy big and called zipper spiders cuz their webs often have a zipper look to them.

  4. says

    That spider is CRAZY big! My hubs and I always disagree on whether to let them stay (and eat other bugs) or kindly ask them to depart. I think I would have ran to the sink and gotten the RAID for him though, he looks mean.

    Love the flowers! And how they match the door. Their mumcousins down in Georgia have been staring me in the face every time I walk into our Whole Foods, saying ‘buy me!’

  5. says

    I would have melted into a little puddle of nothing if that thing was near my house. BLUCK, but the mums look wonderful! I have about the same luck with outdoor plants as you, I either over water, forget, or just give up after about two months.

  6. says

    I’ve seen a few of those around here (Ontario) this summer while working at my local garden centre. Nobody around here knows what kind they are either. Aren’t they the most villainous looking spiders you’ve ever seen?!

  7. Julie McKinley says

    I work at a golf course as a gardener and I’ve come across the same type of spider twice.
    The first one was HUGE, and I decided I wanted to see if he’d do anything.. so I took a stick and kind of touched the spider with it and he practically JUMPED at the stick. Of course I screamed like a little girl!

    The second spider I found didn’t want anything to do with the stick, or me. :]

    In the end, I just let them be :)
    Good thing I’m not scared of bugs!

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