Banded Garden Spider (Argiope trifasciata) in the herb garden.
Yesterday, not ten feet away, in the overflow of the Russian Sage from the Perennial Demonstration Garden to inside the fence of the vegetable growing area, another specimen caught my eye, which I have dubbed Shelob's Great Grandaughter.
I think she's just beautiful. From a reasonable distance, that is.
Pictures by Jenn Wetzel.
Here’s another blog post from 2010 on one of her cousins Argiope aurantia (Yellow Garden spider).
Lots more information with embedded links at the links referenced above.