The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of May 21 to May 28, 2020


Boost Your Landscape’s Curb Appeal in One Weekend

Garden Hat
Define garden spaces with decorative garden edging while keeping unruly plants out of the lawn and off walkways.
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Gardener’s Supply Company

Create a front garden that is sure to boost your mood and welcome visitors all year round. All you need is one weekend and a bit of paint, flowers, décor and edging material to boost your landscape’s curb appeal.

Add a splash of color by painting your front door. Look for colors that complement your home’s siding and the surrounding landscape. Then add a seasonal wreath or other door decoration. A wreath of seed packets in the spring, succulents or silk flowers in summer, dried materials in fall and greens in winter add seasonal interest to your home. Visitors will look forward to the change of seasons marked by your door’s décor.

Add a few containers at the front entrance. Select a color and size that complements your home’s size and architecture style. Reduce maintenance with self-watering containers that extend the time between watering. Further your enjoyment with solar-illuminated planters powered by the sun to add a magical glow to the landscape as the sun sets.

Define planting beds and create a finished look with edging. Use a sharp shovel to dig a V- shaped trench around small garden beds or employ the help of an edging machine for larger areas. Fill the trench with mulch to create a mowing edge and keep weeds out.

Or boost the aesthetic appeal and further define the space with edging materials like the Stomp Edge. This easy-to-install edging material is made from recycled rubber and only requires a few hand tools and minimal time to install.

Keep unruly plants out of the lawn or off walkways while defining the garden space with decorative garden edging. You can keep it simple with Gardener’s Supply Company’s Stratford Edge Irons that mimic the edging found in Shakespeare’s garden in Stratford England. Or add an artistic flare with a more decorative edging like the Nocturne Border Edging.

Weed garden beds to improve the overall appearance and health of garden plants. Weeds not only compete with your desirable plants for water and nutrients, but many are hosts for insect pests and diseases that can harm your desirable plants.

Once weeded, spread a one- to three-inch layer of organic mulch like shredded leaves, evergreen needles or woodchips over the soil surface. The finer the material, the thinner the layer of mulch needed. Organic mulch helps conserve moisture, suppress weeds and improve the soil as it breaks down. Select a mulch that is aesthetically pleasing and won’t overwhelm the beauty of the plants.

Keep mulch off tree trunks, shrubs, stems and crowns of perennial and annual plants. Covering stems and plant crowns can lead to root rot and other problems that can negatively impact the plants’ health and longevity.

Freshen existing wood mulch by lightly tilling or raking, so the darker mulch below the surface moves to the top. Avoid over mulching. It is a waste of money and can be harmful to your plants.

Make it a fun weekend by mixing in some tasty treats or a barbeque once the work is done. As you enjoy the benefits of your weekend’s efforts, you’ll be anxious to start tackling those bigger landscape tasks.

Melinda Myers has written 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 Gardeners Supply for her expertise to write this article. Her web site is


Bronze Age Comic Books

bronze age comic

In a past column, I wrote that I would dedicate a future column to comic books. There is so much collector interest in comic books, and they have been selling so well recently, I will dedicate the next 3 columns to them.

Comic books have a longer history than you might expect. Swiss cartoonist Rodolphe Töpffer created “Histoire de M. Vieux Bois” in 1837. The book was retitled “The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck” when it was translated into English in 1842. It is considered the first comic book, according to the South Florida Reporter.

The first modern comic book was published nearly 100 years later, in 1933. It contained several comic strips that had previously appeared in newspapers. According to the South Florida Reporter, “the term ‘comic’ implies that the tone of these strips are always humorous, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Comics have been used as a medium for telling stories of all kinds.”

Comics are categorized in four different “ages.” The Golden Age was from 1938 to 1956. The Silver Age took place from 1956 to 1970. The Bronze Age went from 1970 to 1985 and the Modern Age began in 1985 and continues today. Some experts also include the Copper Age from 1984 to 1991.

As you might expect, older comics are typically more valuable. Condition is also a huge factor in determining what a comic book is worth. Comics featuring superheroes are the most desirable.

Even a few Modern Age comic books can be valuable. Spiderman issue # 300 can sell for hundreds of dollars in exceptional condition. The Walking Dead issue # 1 can bring thousands of dollars for a copy in pristine condition.

Some Bronze Age comic books can also sell for high prices. A near mint Hulk issue # 180 from 1974 sold for over $2,000 recently. That comic book featured the first appearance of Wolverine. Two near perfect copies of Iron Fist # 14 each fetched over $2,000 at auction this spring. A Marvel Spotlight issue # 5 with the first appearance of Ghost Rider and in great condition sold for $4,000 in a recent online auction. A “Giant-Size” X-Men from 1975 in great condition recently brought $4,300. Hulk issue # 181 has a full story on the Wolverine. A near mint version sold for over $10,000 online recently. I know many of you have been using this time to clean and organize. Maybe you’ll stumble across some old comics that were tucked away years ago. My next article will be on Silver Age comic books.

COVID-19 has changed the antiques and collectibles market dramatically. Shows, live auctions, estate sales, and shops are all feeling the effects. We have shifted our focus to online auctions for the time being. We are currently accepting valuable items that can be shipped to buyers across the country for our June online only auction. You can call or email us for no-contact options for consigning your items. We have some online auctions and an estate sale that we will be running when regulations permit.

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