SIOUX FALLS, SD — The U.S. Postal Service celebrated the beauty of flowers from American gardens by issuing the Flowers from the Garden Forever stamps yesterday. The four stamps feature bountiful floral bouquet still lifes by Elizabeth Brandon of Franklin, TN. Please share the news on social media using the hashtag #FlowerStamps.
Available nationwide now, the stamps were dedicated at the Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum & East Sioux Falls Historic Site in Sioux Falls, SD. Followers of the U.S. Postal Service’s Facebook page can view the first-day-of-issue ceremony live at facebook.com/USPS.
“The Postal Service has a long tradition of showcasing flowers and floral artwork on stamps. Flowers have been a perennial favorite, with hundreds of floral stamps released over the years,” said U.S. Postal Service Employee Resource Management Vice President Simon Storey. “Each of these stamps is a small masterpiece, or as we say in the Postal Service, miniature works of art. And since they are Forever stamps, they will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price. These stamps will always be perfect for your birthday cards, thank-you notes, party invitations, wedding RSVPs and other important announcements.”
Joining Storey in dedicating the stamps were South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard; Sioux Falls City Council member Michelle Erpenbach; Plant Scientist Sarah Stowers; and stamp artist Elizabeth Brandon.
“It’s very fitting that we dedicated the Garden Forever stamps at the Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum. Mary Jo and her husband Karl were friends of mine and they were great South Dakotans,” said Governor Daugaard. “I’m glad to be able to attend this ceremony at the serene location that the Wegner family established in Mary Jo’s honor.”
“What an honor and privilege it is for me to have my artwork of florals selected for a grouping of United States Forever Stamps,” said Brandon. “I feel a real pride in the fact that so many people can enjoy the traditional and colorful flowers adorning their mail. Art is for everyone, and we all need beauty wherever that may appear. Placing a small stamp of art on our envelopes is one of the small joys of life.”
Brandon’s paintings were inspired by floral still lifes created by Dutch and Flemish artists of the 17th and 18th centuries. Each stamp features one of four of Brandon’s paintings of flowers from the garden artfully arranged in a container.
The floral paintings of Dutch and Flemish artists feature exuberant, massed floral arrangements, which give the impression of wild abandon and impromptu creativity. However, the arrangements were in reality carefully thought out and many times purely imaginary — and frequently botanically impossible. Though the flowers looked as if they had just been plucked from the garden, the bouquets might include flowers that did not bloom during the same season or even grow in the same country.
One stamp features red camellias and yellow forsythia in a yellow pitcher; another stamp features white peonies and pink tree peonies in a clear vase. An arrangement of white hydrangeas, white and pink roses, green hypericum berries and purple lisianthus in a white vase graces a third stamp; and a fourth stamp shows blue hydrangeas in a blue pot.
The Flowers from the Garden stamps are being issued as Forever stamps in booklets of 20 and coils of 3,000 and 10,000. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price. Art director Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, designed the stamps.
Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain first-day-of-issue postmarks by mail. They may purchase new stamps at United States Post Office locations, at the Postal Store usps.com/shopor by calling 800-782-6724. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
FDOI – Flowers from the Garden Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for postmarks up to a quantity of 50. Customers must pay 5 cents for each additional postmark. All orders must be postmarked by Oct. 16, 2017.
Ordering First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamps and stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
- 672106, Press Sheet with Die-cuts, $78.40.
- 672110, Digital Color Postmark Keepsake (set of 4), $16.95.
- 672116, First-Day Cover (set of 4), $3.72.
- 672121, Digital Color Postmark (set of 4), $6.56.
- 672124, Framed Art, $29.95.
- 672130, Ceremony Program, $6.95.