CRESTWOOD, KY â€“ On May 23, the U.S. Postal Service will issue Garden of Love â€” ten different first-class stamps depicting a colorful mosaic of flora and fauna in a garden setting. These stamps are a continuation of the Love series, begun in 1973, and are intended for use on occasions when love and affection are expressed. This marks the first ForeverÂ® Love stamp ever issued.
A First Day of Issue dedication ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. EDT at Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, 6220 Old La Grange Road, Crestwood, KY â€“ a thriving 33-acre estate in Oldham County known for its extensive collection of unusual plants and outstanding gardens. Admission to the botanical gardens is free to the public before 1 p.m. EDT.
The dedicating official will be United States Postal Service Board of Governors Member Ellen Williams. Additional speakers will be Crestwood Mayor Dennis Deibel, Yew Dell Botanical Gardens Executive Director Paul Cappiello and Kentuckiana District Manager David Dillman, U.S. Postal Service. Honored guests will be Yew Dell Botanical Gardens Board of Directors Chairman Mary Rounsavall and Crestwood Postmaster Wilburn Malone.
The Crestwood Post Office will offer a special First-Day-of-Issue cancellation beginning on May 23. The postmark will be available for 60 days. Customers should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to: Garden of Love Stamp, Postmaster, 6815 Central Ave., Crestwood, KY 40014-9998. The cancellation is also available to those on a walk-in basis. There is no charge for this special postmark.
First Day of Issue collectibles, such as lapel pins, framed art and note cards, will be available on-site the day of the unveiling. A limited edition set of commemorative envelopes, designed by Louisville, KY artist Joanne Meshew, also will be available at the event.
Garden of Love: The Artist
Award-winning illustrator JosÃ© Ortega of New York City and Toronto depicts an abstract garden of bright flowers, a butterfly, a strawberry, and doves, interlaced with vines that run from one stamp to another. Each prominent element of the design is in the shape of a heart. The deep blue background is reminiscent of a brilliant summer sky. The word â€œLoveâ€ sits atop each stamp.
To create his design, Ortega made a digital file of his original pencil and marker drawings. Then he added color, improvising until the garden took shape. Ortega, a collector of decorative arts, says tapestries, textiles, and mosaics influenced his choice of colors and patterns.
The Garden of Love stamps are being issued as ForeverÂ® stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
Ortegaâ€™s previous projects for the U.S. Postal Service include the 2007 With Love and Kisses stamp and the Salsa stamp, one of four stamp designs that appeared as part of the 2005 Letâ€™s Dance/Bailemos issuance.