But then, I guess that the average gardener can't be too worried. You can't move a leaf without seeing them, especially at certain times of the year.
I have to say I love them. OK, place one of the really poisonous types on my hand and I might freeze. But for the danger, not because it's a spider. In our house, the yell,of "Call Mum - there's a spider in the bath" occurs frequently.
All right - you've been warned, and I hope there's enough text for the photos not to appear above the fold, so that anyone who hates them will have disappeared by now. But just in case we'll start with the least spidery.
What, I wondered when I was at home in England, were these little yellow balls sitting in my front garden hedge. To the naked eye they just looked like blobs. It wasn't difficult to guess though, and when I blew the photo up - baby spiders!
Whose babies, I wondered. I didn't notice any adult golden-black striped spiders in the garden, but I looked them up and Araneus diadematus seems to match. According to my book on British wildlife, it's supposed to be the most common British garden spider, so I'll go for that.
Not sure about this slightly out of focus but hugely pregnant lady. I know how she feels - I was once hugely pregnant in the June heat too. But haven't been able to identify her so far - ??
By far the most common type of spider in the garden seemed to be a small one with a green abdomen and dark legs. Possibly Araniella cucurbitina ?? But the legs seemed darker. They never stuck around long enough for me to take a photo. How many spiders are there in Britain, I wonder? Or in Italy ? I rarely seem to see them here in the city. And in the whole world?
The last type I saw was, potentially, much more scary. This is what my mother used to call a cob - though what the difference between cobs and spiders is (if there is any), I don't know. And I've not found a really similar picture. But she just sat there at the base of the compost heap while I rushed in to get my camera. So I doubt if she had any really evil intentions ...