The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of November 7 to November 14, 2019


Double King Amaryllis
Photo courtesy of

Plan Ahead for Amaryllis Blooms All Winter Long

Let amaryllis fill your home with flowers for the holidays and keep the blossoms coming all winter long. When you plant several different types of amaryllis bulbs, from both the southern and northern hemisphere, you can be sure to get a long-lasting, colorful show that will brighten your mood and surroundings throughout the winter months.

Kick off the holiday season with amaryllis bulbs that are imported from growers in Peru. As we enter autumn, it’s springtime in South America, and these bulbs are eager to start blooming. Pot them up before early November for flowers in December.

Amaryllis varieties grown in the southern hemisphere include deep red Mandela, frosty white Denver, coral-pink Bolero and two-tone Charisma. Combine these impressive blossoms with greens, poinsettias, candles and other holiday décor, or give them as living gifts to friends, family and neighbors.

Most amaryllis bulbs that are grown in the U.S. are imported from Holland, and their natural bloom time is January through March. Exactly when the flowers will open is impossible to predict. The best strategy is to choose a number of different varieties and plant them 3 to 4 weeks apart during November, December and January. This way you will always have flowers coming into bloom.

Plan a winter filled with amaryllis blossoms by referring to Longfield Gardens’ article,, for insight on when different amaryllis varieties will bloom.

Start your indoor flower display with an early bloomer such as Evergreen, which is always quick to break out of dormancy. Its flowers have narrow, lime/chartreuse petals on 20-inch plants. Enjoy the impressive display as each bulb produces 2 stems with 4 to 6 blooms.

Minerva’s extra-large, cherry-red flowers have a white star in the middle and an apple green throat. They are eye-catching from afar and spectacular up close. Apple Blossom is a long-time favorite with snow-white petals brushed with pink and a lime green throat. Or grow a double amaryllis such as Double King with layers of burgundy-red petals and up to a dozen flowers.

Enjoy some of the more unusual amaryllis colors and flower styles by planting varieties such as Naranja, with its tropical red-orange blossoms or Sweet Nymph, a romantic double amaryllis with stunning, coral-pink petals. Add elegance to your indoor garden with Picotee. Its 8” flowers are white with a thin red line around each petal.

As winter turns to early spring, celebrate with an explosion of indoor blooms from Red Pearl, Spartacus and other proven performers. The velvety, burgundy-red flowers of Red Pearl have a deep maroon throat that sets off the glittering gold stamens. Spartacus turns heads with its crimson petals and bold white stripes.

Display your amaryllis on a mantle, kitchen counter or entryway table where you can watch the amazing show as the first sprout appears, followed by buds and the spectacular trumpet-shaped blooms. Amaryllis are also beautiful, long-lasting cut flowers.

For best selection, order your bulbs early and store them in a cool, dry, dark place until you are ready to plant. Once you pot up the bulbs and place them in a warm, bright location, flower buds should appear in about 6 to 10 weeks.

Protect yourself from the winter blahs by investing in amaryllis. You can count on their big flowers and bright colors to lift your spirits and ease your way to spring.

Melinda Myers has written numerous books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses How to Grow Anything DVD series and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV and radio segments. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Longfields Gardens for her expertise to write this article. Her website is

Antique News

Wedgwood Sterling Silver

Gold and silver Still Lead the Way at Auction

The antique market has changed significantly since when I started in this business over 30 years ago. Back then many dealers were refinishing antique furniture and were making a good living reselling it. Brilliant cut glass, EAPG (early American Pattern glass), Heisey, Fostori and other glassware sold very well at shows and in antique shops. Limoges, Nippon and other china were also bringing strong prices. Baseball cards and comic books were selling well at local auctions, but not bringing the record prices we see today. Those who kept silver and gold they purchased decades ago have seen their investment grow over time despite the changing market.

Sterling silver hollowware and flatware, along with silver coins, have been among the best-selling items at auction for several years. Many people sold gold in 2001 when it reached over $1,900 an ounce. Gold prices have been rising again and it is now over $1,500 an ounce. Many consignors have been selling their gold and silver again during this strong market.

Pieces by silversmiths from the 18th and 19th century can fetch strong prices at auction. A soup tureen by master silversmith Paul Storr brought $26,000 at a 2014 auction. More modern pieces by famous designers like Tiffany are also very valuable. A pair of nine-candle Tiffany sterling silver candelabras sold for $93,500 at auction in 2012. A set of Tiffany “Renaissance” flatware brought $98,000 in a 2014 auction. Two Tiffany sterling center bowls with hand hammered ocean scene designs reached $111,500 when they sold at auction in 2012.

As you’d expect, gold items can bring prices that are even higher than silver. A 1795 $10 Gold Eagle coin went for $375,000 at auction in 2015. Gold jewelry can fetch astronomical prices, especially when combined with gemstones. A gold and diamond tulip bangle by JAR sold for $3.5 million at a 2014 auction. Most people don’t have 18th century silver or early 19th century gold coins, but more recent silver and gold have also been selling well at our Worcester auctions.

A George Jensen Harald Neilsen Design sterling silver coffee and tea set sold for over $2,000 in our August 2017 auction. A large Wedgwood pattern sterling silver flatware service by International Silver Company went for over $3,000 in our August auction. A George Jensen flatware sterling set brought over $4,000 in our January 2017 auction. A 1911 $20 St. Gaudens gold coin brought $1,400. A gold mourning locket went for over $2,000 in our August 2016 auction. A set of 22-karat gold Western miniatures by Jim Pounder brought bids of over $20,000 in our May auction. Precious metals continue to remain precious to our bidders.

We have our next major auction on January 30th in Worcester. I’ll be appraising items for the public at the First Parish Church United in Westford on November 9th from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Other events are being scheduled. Please see for details on these and other events.

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