The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of September 24 to October 1, 2020


Plant in Fall for a Colorful Spring Display

Day Lilies
Lilies grow from bulbs and their large prominent flowers brighten up gardens and provide vertical appeal.
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Melinda Myers, LLC

It’s time to think spring. Fall is the time to plant tulips, daffodils, crocus and other spring flowering bulbs. Use these early bloomers to welcome spring to your landscape. You’ll appreciate the color and cheery blooms after another long winter passes.

Extend your enjoyment by including early blooming bulbs like snowdrops, squills, and winter aconites. Add early, mid, or late spring blooming tulips and early and mid spring flowering daffodils for a continuous display of color. Check the package or catalog description for bloom times.

Create some winning combinations by planting white tulips with grape hyacinths or yellow daffodils with the equally assertive blue squills. Plant a fragrant garden bouquet by combining tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Select varieties that bloom at the same time in complementary colors or blends.

Include summer flowering hardy lilies. Many are fragrant and these stately beauties provide vertical accents in the garden. Cut a few stems to display in a vase or mix with other flowers in summer bouquets.

Don’t let hungry animals stop you from brightening your spring with these bulbs. Include animal resistant bulbs like hyacinths, grape hyacinths, daffodils, fritillarias, and alliums.

You can plant tulips, crocus, and lilies, just be sure to use physical barriers like chicken wire or animal repellents like rain resistant Plantskydd ( It’s an organic repellent that comes in both liquid and granular formulations to protect bulbs animals prefer to eat.

Lay the bulbs out on newspaper, apply the liquid repellent, and allow them to dry before planting. Add an extra layer of protection by sprinkling the granular repellent over the soil surface. In spring, begin protecting the plants before the animals begin feeding. Follow label directions for proper timing of additional repellent applications.

Prepare the soil before planting. Work compost, peatmoss, or other organic matter into the top twelve inches of soil to improve drainage, a key factor in growing success.

Wait until the soil is cool to plant your bulbs. This is usually after the first hard frost or when night temperatures average between 40 and 50 degrees. Plant the bulbs two to three times their vertical height deep and at least two to three times their diameter apart. Try grouping at least six to nine larger bulbs, like tulips and daffodils, and 15 to 20 smaller bulbs, like squills and crocus, together for greater impact.

Mix a low nitrogen, slow release fertilizer into the soil surface and water thoroughly after planting. Continue watering thoroughly when the soil is dry throughout the fall, while the bulbs grow roots.

After you enjoy their blooms next spring, leave the leaves intact until they yellow. Leaves produce the energy needed for next year’s floral display. Mask the fading foliage by planting winter hardy pansies with your bulbs in fall, adding color to both fall and spring gardens. Or plant bulbs amongst perennials. Early spring flowering perennials double your pleasure, later bloomers extend the flowering season, and both help hide fading bulb foliage.

Break out your trowel and gloves and get busy planting. You’ll be glad you did when that first flower appears next spring.

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 Tree World Plant Care for her expertise to write this article. Her web site is


Selling Estate Contents During the Pandemic

Pegasus children's ride

In previous columns, I have discussed options for buying antiques and collectibles during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have also written about online auctions during these times. This column will offer a comprehensive look at options for selling estate personal property during the pandemic.

The shelter in place orders at the beginning of the pandemic put live auctions, estate appraisals and estate sales on hold. There were many people who waited for the regulations to be loosened so they could sell their estate personal property. We received very few calls during the spring, but now we have been fielding more calls than ever.

If you are an estate personal representative, methods of selling estate personal property have changed since the pandemic. Although things have changed, there are still many options available for sellers.

Some companies are still running estate (tag) sales. The Massachusetts August 7th updated gatherings order states “indoor gatherings are limited to eight people per 1,000 square feet, but should not exceed 25 people in a single enclosed, indoor space.” Sellers cannot hold estate sales with 40 people in a house now. Estate sale company proprietors need to carefully monitor the number of people who enter and leave the home and have people waiting outside stay socially distanced.

To avoid the large crowds associated with traditional estate sales, many companies are using other options. They may be holding private sales where buyers are invited to attend one at a time and make their purchases. Some companies are offering items online with a set price. Other estate sale companies have begun auctioning items online.

Some auctioneers have moved their operations outdoors. The updated gathering order provides for a “maximum of 50 people in a single enclosed outdoor space. Outdoor gatherings in unenclosed spaces are not subject to capacity limitations."

Auction houses like ours are strictly running online auctions. Auctions may take place at the estate, where we typically offer a preview prior to the end of bidding. Winning bidders may pick up their items the weekend after the end of the online bidding. We also gather higher valued items from multiple estates and offer them in a multi-estate antiques and collectibles auction. Many other auctioneers are selling strictly online too.

Which one of these methods is best for you? It depends. Auctions have been the preferred method for selling valuable items for hundreds of years. Estate sales have also become a popular way to sell estate contents and with companies adjusting to meet the challenges that have arisen with COVID-19. Sometimes a combination is best. We auction items like estate jewelry, coin collections, sterling silver, antique artwork and better collectibles online. We then may sell other items privately or in an online auction at the home. Auctions have been in existence since 500 B.C. The pandemic may have slowed them up for a few months, but it certainly won’t shut them down.

I will be appraising items virtually for the Townsend Historical Society’s “Virtually Vintage: A Live, Online Antique Appraisal Event” on October 10th. You can buy tickets to get your items appraised on their website: You can either send photos of your items or bring them in person to Townsend on the day of the event. We are still accepting quality consignments for our October 29th multi-estate online auction.

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