“I thought they were only yellow!”
In late April a catalog from Brecks, a premier supplier of Dutch bulbs, arrived. I glanced at the cover thinking I’d look through it later when I realized the entire catalog was devoted to daffodils. I sat down at the kitchen table, pushed the other mail aside, and opened the first page. The seven pictured varieties were interesting, but I was already familiar with three of the pictured daffs so my interest was lukewarm—until I turned just a few more pages.
With each page I turned my eyes saw a color palette of whites, oranges, lime green, pinks, and red-orange. The vivid colors were mostly in the bowl (center portion) of the daffs but many had outer petals of whites, lime, and many shades of yellow. In amazement I waved the open catalog at Christine; after a stunned moment she exclaimed “I thought they were only yellow!” Not any more, my gardening friends. Not anymore. Go to https://www.brecks.com/catalog_request and ask for any of their catalogs. Brecks has a solid reputation going back to 1818.
But I wander from my daffs. As I looked through the 30+ page catalog I was overwhelmed by all the varieties. In reading as I looked, I learned the stunning fact there are over 32,000 registered varieties of daffodils classified into thirteen divisions. As gardeners, most of us are familiar with the trumpet, double, and large or small cup varieties. There are still nine more groups.
I realize May is not when we think of planting bulbs, but I urge you to consider a short pause, send for a catalog (or look online), and order some eye-popping daffodils for spring 2023. The catalog will share ways to plant along with rich descriptions of the varieties offered. In addition, readers will learn that daffodils are not on the menu of our deer.
If you have some areas beneath trees, naturalizing may be worth your time. Most spring-blooming bulbs are finished blooming by the time trees leaf fully out so planting beneath them works nicely. In fact, a nice companion plant for daffs is the sturdy hosta. As the daffodil foliage dies back, the hosta foliage covers it over.
In the catalog you’ll also find a section devoted to fragrant daffodils. If you think the more common yellow trumpet daffodil is fragrant, wait until you read about these six varieties. These are very fragrant in the warm spring air, and they make wonderful cut flowers. One bunch will fill a room with its heady fragrance. In addition, among these varieties are unusual shapes
I could go on and on about daffodils, and especially the Brecks catalog; instead, I urge you to order your own copy and learn so much more about what we once might have thought was the simple yellow trumpet daffodil. From fertilizing to the how-to-do-it cutting techniques, this catalog is filled with information and tips I am certain will help you become better gardeners.
Social Media a Bad Idea When Rehoming Pets
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I read about Sherrie’s dilemma in trying to rehome her grandmother’s cats. Should she maybe put a notice in the newspaper or on Facebook that the cats need a good home? --Gerry O., via email
DEAR GERRY: On the surface, it seems like a good idea. But there are some dangers involved in rehoming cats using these routes. In fact, many publications and some social media sites — most notably, Facebook — do not allow posts about pets being available for free or for sale.
The danger for pets is that they could go to a home that’s not going to meet their needs, where they may be abused. They may not even go to a home — dogs, puppies and even kittens have been obtained this way by promoters of illegal dog fights, or by others with bad intentions, where they meet a terrible end.
For humans, the danger with rehoming via the internet is that the person they’re meeting may be setting them up as a target. Whether to rob them directly or initiate a con job to get even more money out of them, the danger is real.
The best ways for Sherrie to get the word out about needing to rehome the cats is to talk directly to friends and relatives, let the veterinarian know and contact the local shelter. More information can be found by searching for “rehoming your pet” at the national Humane Society website (www.humanesociety.org).
Send your questions, tips, and comments to
© 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.
Photo Credit: Kovels
This is a very early pair of glasses
with tinted lenses not used as sunglasses.
The earliest use of eyeglasses was recorded about 1300. Rock crystal was shaped and set into round frames to wear and improve clarity. Glasses with temple arms that sit on the ears were not created until the 1700s. Glasses with dark lenses were worn for medical reasons by the late 19th century. Sunglasses that just cut glare were not used until 1929.
President Theodore Roosevelt wore a monocle, probably the first president to admit he had trouble seeing. In 1784, Benjamin Franklin had special spectacles that had bifocal lenses. Benjamin Martin (1704-1782) invented Martin’s Margins eyeglasses in the 18th century period. They were round, had thinner and more accurate lenses set in two round frames of iron or steel, trimmed with cattle horn or tortoiseshell and arms that wrap around the ears.
Next came “scissors spectacles” that could be folded to fit in a pocket. The side pieces looked like those on a pair of scissors. They were first used in the early 1800s. Once glasses could be made by machine, they became less expensive, less of an ornament, and more an item used by working men and women.
The glasses here are Windsors, a style started in Victorian times. This pair has leather side flaps, a leather nosepiece and a thin metal frame with round lenses and arms that wrap around the ears. There are many collectors of medical devices today, even auctions that feature only medicines, original containers and small medical tools. Prices are still low.
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I once owned a glass Alaska green celery dish by Northwood. I want to find a replacement and have no idea how. What can you tell me?
Northwood glass was made by the H. Northwood Co., founded in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1901 by Harry Northwood. He and his brother, Carl, manufactured pressed and blown glass tableware and novelties. Harry Northwood died in 1919, and the company closed in 1925. The Alaska pattern was made between about 1897 and 1903 in several colors, including blue opalescent, emerald opalescent, green and Vaseline, a greenish-yellow glass. Some pieces are offered for sale in online shops. Try contacting a matching service like Replacements.com. Many dealers who sell early glass keep a “wanted” list to help customers. Let them know what you’re looking for and they will contact you if they find it. Your dish would retail for over $100.
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Popeye, store display, Pop-Up Spinach Can, cardboard, pictures Popeye, Olive Oyl, Wimpy, holding 12 tin lithograph cans, Mattel, 1957, 14 by 13 inches, $675.
Doll, Madame Alexander, Cinderella, plastic, Tosca wig, blue taffeta gown, rhinestone crown, slippers, 1955, 8 inches, $920.
Cupboard, wood, painted yellow, two 2-panel doors, 5 shelves inside, bootjack cutout base, 1800s, 50 by 41 by 23 inches, $1,100.
Baccarat paperweight, garland, arrowhead cane, red star cane, green, complex blue star, France, 1800s, 3
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TIP: Fabrics decorated with metal threads should not be washed. Wipe with a cotton swab and ammonia.
“A Diary: How to Sell, Settle and Profit
from a Collector’s Estate”
is a step-by-step 56-page guide on what to do when settling an estate —from gathering legal papers to dividing antiques among heirs and selling everything else, even the house. Available only from the Kovels for just $14.95, it also includes a free supplement. Order by phone at 800-303-1996;
online at Kovels.com;
or write to
P.O. Box 22192
Beachwood, OH 44122
© 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.
12 Cremer’s Homemade Brats
2 or 3 Large Onions
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Slice onions into 1/2” thick slices, layer a baking dish with onions and place Cremer’s Homemade Lean Brats on bed of onions.
Pour enough water to cover onions.
Cover and bake for one hour.
Remove brats from oven and place on medium-hot grill
until you have grill marks (5–10 minutes).
You can also chill brats and use them at a later time, throwing them on grill to heat through to an internal temp of 165° (10– 15 minutes).