Preparing for Winter
The time has come to begin preparing our outdoor areas for the coming winter. My elder brother, also deeply into gardening, often gives talks about what to do when in the garden and I’m going to simply pick up on parts of his presentation to help you do as much as you can with the greatest efficiency.
Remove old plant debris to avoid inviting diseases and unwanted pests and collect favorite seeds for spring starts and “wild seed” distribution. Harvest any remaining veggies and then Fall till to expose insects to cold temperatures. Sow a cover crop to retain soil, reduce compaction, shade out weeds, add organic matter to soil, and reduce fertilizer demands. Good choices are Winter Rye or Wheat; make sure you till it under in the spring before it goes to seed!
Now is a good time to rake, rake, rake your lawn! Mow as needed, but mostly rake, rake, rake to get out thatch and leaves. Consider doing a soil test—kits are readily available or use your County Extension Office resources. Continue watering newly seeded areas as needed.
Plant spring blooming bulbs. I wait until late October or as soon as stores discount the bulbs. If they’re planted before the ground freezes all is well. Cut back weedy or seedy perennials, clean up dead annuals, as well as iris and peony foliage. Mulch flower beds after frost and cover roses after ground has frozen. Do not use leaves from trees! These often mat down when wet and then diseases set in in early spring before they’re removed. Better to use soil mounded up around the canes.
Water all evergreens until ground freezes to minimize chances of winter burn. Water any trees and shrubs planted this past growing season. Soil water needs to be available in late winter into early spring to replace what was lost over the winter. Fertilize trees & shrubs after leaves have fallen and protect bark against critters. Also protect tender evergreens using burlap or anti-desiccants.
Finally, a few miscellaneous tasks. Leave Christmas cactus outdoors for as long as possible to promote buds (40°F night temperatures). Clean and store hoses & flowerpots and clean, sharpen and oil garden tools. Don’t worry about leaf drop on houseplants moved indoors because this is normal acclimation.
Now that you’ve finished everything, start planning what you’ll do next spring!
Returning a Pet to a Shelter
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I am a disabled senior citizen with two beautiful dogs. Recently I was told that I need to move from my apartment to an assisted living facility that doesn’t allow pets. There is no one to take my dogs. Will a shelter take them in? What will happen to them? — Michael G., via email
DEAR MICHAEL: The first thing to do is reach out for help. You’re making a huge life transition and should find out what options you have. Contact your city’s senior services department, the United Way or the AARP for assistance. Tell them your dilemma. Ask if there are assisted living facilities available that will allow your pets to stay with you.
If you cannot take your dogs with you, contact the shelters in your city or region. Explain your situation, and that you must surrender your pets. Not all shelters are able to accept surrenders, but all of them can give you information on other places to call for help. When you find a shelter that will accept your dogs, the shelter will probably schedule a day and time for you to come in.
You’ll bring your dogs, in carry-cages if possible, and will fill out a surrender form. There will probably be a fee for surrendering them. If you need assistance filling out the form, or if you cannot afford the fee, tell the shelter as soon as possible. Once surrendered, the shelter will do its best to find a new home for your dogs.
Thank you for thinking of your dogs during this stressful time and making sure they’re cared for no matter what happens. I wish you the best.
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© 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.
This table lamp with a bronze base and painted glass shade was made by Handel in the early 1900s. The shade is 18 inches in diameter, and the lamp is 25 inches high. Price, over $5,000.
The first Tiffany lamps with dome-shaped stained-glass shades were made in 1895. They became very popular and very expensive. Other lamp and glass companies adapted the idea and made less expensive reverse-painted glass shades, colored glass and metal-trimmed shades, and copies of the originals. None are as expensive as the originals today, but some are considered important and sell for thousands of dollars.
Philip Julius Handel made lamps in Meriden, Connecticut, from 1893 to 1933, and his reverse-painted shade lamps are now selling for up to $8,000. Almost all of his lamps are signed on the inside of the shade and on the metal lamp base. Price is determined by the design on the shade and the shape of the bronze base. A recent Morphy Auctions of Pennsylvania sold a signed Handel “Elephantine Island” table lamp with a bronze base held by three winged griffins. The shade is a painting of the ancient Egyptian ruins on Elephantine, a small island on the Nile. The lamp sold for $5,248.
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My wife was a collector of mustache cups and she accumulated about 50 of them before she died. I’m not sure what to do with them and would like to know if they have any value.
Mustache cups were popular from 1850 to 1900 when large, flowing mustaches were popular. A mustache cup had a ledge of china or silver that kept the hair out of the liquid in the cup and kept the mustache wax from melting. Mustache cups have sold at auctions in the past year for about $30 to over $100. Left-handed mustache cups are rare and have sold for over $400, but have been reproduced. You can consign your collection to an auction house or contact an antiques store in your area to see what they will offer you for them.
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I’d like some information about the maker of a bronze statue of a fox marked “Chemin.” The letter “N” is backward. Does this increase the value?
Your bronze fox was made by French sculptor Joseph Victor Chemin (1825-1901). He was known for his animal sculptures. The backward “N” is part of his mark. It isn’t a mistake and does not add value. An 8-inch-long bronze animal by Chemin was estimated at $300 in a Midwest auction.
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Photography, carte de viste, amputees, Civil War veterans, trumpet, American flag, S. Roden, $85.
Sewing machine, new home, quarter sawn, oak, cabinet, hinged top, 30 1/2 inches, $120.
Salad serving set, Les Six Fleurs, sterling silver, fork, spoon, 9 3/4 inches, $190.
Sampler, alphabet, potted plants, animals, filigree, French text, Elizabeth Tibat, 1723, 18 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, $240.
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TIP: Ultrasonic cleaners are best for gold jewelry without stones. They should not be used with porous gems, including coral, lapis, pearls or any dyed stones.
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© 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.