The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of December 3 to December 10, 2020


Grow Frilly, Bold and Unique Amaryllis Indoors This Winter

overwintering plants in containers
Sweet Nymph double amaryllis has layers of creamy white petals decorated with coral pink stripes.
Photo credit: photo courtesy of

When squirrels are busy storing nuts for winter, it’s time for gardeners to start gathering amaryllis bulbs to sustain them through the dreary months ahead. Ordering now will ensure you have lots of choices, so you can select an assortment of different flowers styles, colors, and bloom times.

The flowers of double amaryllis are packed full of petals and sure to brighten any day. Double King lives up to its name with three or more layers of brilliant red, velvety petals. Each bulb produces multiple flower stems, so you’ll enjoy weeks of blossoms.

Sweet Nymph is another double and its softer coloring is equally beautiful. The flowers feature layers of creamy white petals with coral pink stripes and are sure to add a bit of romantic charm to your winter.

Add some energy to your indoor décor with amaryllis Dancing Queen ( The bold eight-inch blooms are comprised of layers of ruffled snow-white petals with delicate scarlet-red stripes.

The flowers of Exotic Star have an unusual shape and color that have earned it lots of fans. The asymmetrical petals are parchment-white with narrow, garnet-red stripes and apple green highlights.

Bring in some fresh spring green color with amaryllis Evergreen. Pale chartreuse petals give it a fresh, modern look. Each bulb produces two stems with four to six flowers each. Enjoy them as a living bouquet or cut a few stems to display in a vase.

Grow Ice Queen when looking to add elegance to your winter décor. Its enormous, frosty white flowers have lime green accents and combine nicely with evergreen boughs and holiday decorations. Plant the bulbs by early November to get flowers for the holidays.

Charisma is another variety that blooms in early winter. The two-tone petals have a unique ombre effect. Enjoy the changing colors this variety exhibits as it transforms from bud to fully open flower.

Amaryllis are long lasting cut flowers and the variety Picotee is no exception. Each of its pure white petals are outlined with a very thin red line. A lime-green center adds freshness. Beautiful displayed in a pot or in a vase.

Rosy Star is another eye-catching amaryllis with snowy white blossoms that are decorated with brush stroke highlights in three shades of pink. The apple green throat adds to this variety’s elegance and appeal.

As more people discover the joy of growing amaryllis, flower breeders are busy introducing new cultivars. Gervase is a good example of these exciting new options. Each blossom is a little different, with ruby-red petals adorned with variable stripes and veining. You will have plenty of blooms to enjoy as large bulbs can produce twelve or more spectacular blossoms.

Maximize your enjoyment by growing your amaryllis where you can watch the daily transformation, from the first bud breaking through the soil until the flowers begin to unfurl.

Melinda Myers is the author of more than 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series and the Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Longfield Gardens for her expertise to write this article. Her web site is


Holiday Antique and Auction News

Santa and Rudolph figures

Many holiday related stories have been featured in recent antique and auction news reports. Several Christmas related antiques recently brought strong prices at auction, according to the Antiques and Arts Weekly. A "red-robed Santa sitting in the gondola under a wicker dirigible with propellers on the side and holding his bag of toys" sold for $7,800 at auction in November. "Santa in red robe riding a white fur nodding reindeer with orange decorative harness" went for $13,200. "Santa riding a clockwork nodding donkey" with "a feather tree in one hand and the donkey outfitted in a vibrant harness" reached $15,600. "Santa on nodding polar bear, 29 inches high with composition feet, hands and head with a mohair beard, the bear covered in rabbit fur" brought $36,600. Antiques and the Arts reported that the Santa and polar bear seller is a member of the Golden Glow of Christmas Past Collectors group (

A "German composition Santa on sleigh behind six reindeer, all on a wheeled platform measuring 35 inches long" sold for well above the $1,500 estimate, according to the same Antiques and the Arts Weekly article. The auctioneer believed that two factors which contributed to strong bidding on this piece were that there were six reindeer, instead of the typical four, and that the reindeer were in different positions, instead of staring straight ahead as is typical. The antique Santa and reindeer toy sold for $72,000 to a buyer in the United states.

A 46-year-old Army vet and his wife made an important discovery in a drawer of their newly purchased home in South Carolina, according to Fox Business. Fox Business writes that "the two cases (they found) contained 64 coins in total, including 46 gold $5 liberty coins and 18 Morgan silver dollars. The Liberty $5 coins were minted between 1849 and 1907, while the Morgan silver dollar was coined between 1878 and 1904." The estimated value of the coins is $25,000. Exemplifying the holiday spirit, the couple immediately returned them to the elderly couple who had sold them the house.

KSTP TV reported that the Santa Claus and Rudolph figures from the 1964 "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" TV special recently sold at auction. Prior to the auction, the New York Times reported that the figures were "constructed of wood, felted wool, leather and lead armature" and cost around $5,000 each to make in 1964. The two figures were expected to sell for between $150,000 and $250,000, according to the New York Times article. KSTP reported that "the seller was Peter Lutrario, 65, of New York, who told The Associated Press before the auction that he thought he would never part with the dolls but wanted to be able to take care of his children and grandchildren with the money." The undisclosed buyer paid $368,000, well above the estimates. The Lutrario family stockings will certainly be stuffed this Christmas.

We are cataloging die-cast toys for an online auction that will end in early 2021. This will be the first of multiple toy auctions. Later auctions will feature rare antique toys from the 19th and 20th centuries. We will also be auctioning hundreds of paintings from the estate of Fay Moore. Moore is well known for her horse racing and other equestrian paintings. Additional auctions are also being planned. Please sign up for email updates on our website or follow us on Facebook for more information.

Contact us at: Wayne Tuiskula Auctioneer/Appraiser Central Mass Auctions for Antique Auctions, Estate Sales and Appraisal Services (508-612- 6111)