What defines a romantic garden for you? There are almost as many answers as there are gardens. Some people envision a cottage-style garden, informal in design with dense plantings and old-fashioned flowers. Others think of fragrance gardens, filled with flowering plants and herbs that intoxicate the senses. Formal gardens, with their well-ordered designs, symmetrical paths, and geometrical plantings, appeal to others. But what kind of garden do you think the artist had in mind when creating the 2011 Love stamp, Garden of Love?
Lush with green leaves and bright blossoms, illustrator José Ortega‘s vision was a fantasy garden, where hearts, subtly interwoven among the foliage, seem to bloom along with the flowers. “Garden of Love depicts the abundance of life, its generosity, whose spirit is to be shared by all its creatures,” says Ortega. “Love’s definition is broader than romantic love. Love is that colorful, full feeling you get when you enjoy being a part of and sharing in the generosity of life.”
Garden of Love was the first Love stamp to be issued in a block of ten designs and the first to bear the Forever® denomination.
The 2013 Love stamp, Sealed with Love, was issued last month, and tonight (February 12) we are joining More Love Letters from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. (EST) for an online “Sealed with Love” social party. Come take part and fill your evening with letter writing, giveaways (!), and goodwill. You can follow along on the and on Twitter. We’ll be tweeting from all night and you can click into all the fun through #sealedwithlove. Get your stamps and envelopes ready. We hope to “see” you all there!
© HALLMARK LICENSING, INC.
The 2010 Love stamp, Pansies in a Basket, may have a familiar look to it—for good reason.
The floral design is a reproduction of a watercolor created by the late Dorothy Maienschein, an employee of Hallmark Cards, Inc. Introduced as a Mother’s Day card in 1939, it later became a thinking-of-you design and remains in the line today.
Dorothy Maienschein’s son spoke at the First Day of Issue ceremony, which took place at Hallmark headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri:
At the time of the stamp’s release in April 2010, Hallmark, which began tracking sales in 1942, said that almost 30 million cards with the design had been purchased—more than any other card in history.
The year 2013 marks the 500th anniversary of the naming of Florida, and we’ll be celebrating the occasion with these four elegant floral stamps.
Aren’t they gorgeous?
Each stamp features a cascade of blossoms from a particular variety of flower: red and pink hibiscus; yellow cannas; morning glories in white, red, and shades of purple; and white and purple passionflowers.
Artist Steve Buchanan, who drew each bloom in exquisite detail, wanted the stamps to evoke a tropical feel, with an abundance of flowers native to Florida. He chose flowers of different sizes and colors that had separate personalities but harmonized as a group, much like a garden.
The four La Florida stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate. A release date has not yet been set.
Receiving flowers for any occasion—Valentine’s Day, birthday, anniversary—is a joy, but a bouquet that is given spontaneously is a gesture that is never forgotten. The 2005 Love stamp celebrates that spontaneity with a lively and colorful design. Gathered into an informal bouquet, the spring flowers look as if they were picked on a whim, fresh from the garden or field.
The stamp design differs in style from previous Love stamps, which featured precisely drawn flowers that were reminiscent of Victorian Valentine’s Day cards. The art is modern yet whimsical, almost impressionistic. This fresher, looser approach to a floral Love stamp was described by USPS at the time as “symbolic of the warmth, hope, and happiness of love and friendship.”
While flowers are frequently associated with romantic love, they are also symbols of affection and tenderness, a beautiful reminder that the recipient was in someone’s thoughts.
Don’t forget: The 2013 Love stamp. Sealed with Love, was issued Wednesday, January 30, and is now available online and in Post Offices nationwide.
Roses grace both Love stamps issued in 1988, but for those in the know, the message the stamps send to their recipients could be subtly but clearly different.
The 25-cent stamp (issued on July 4, 1988, at the Rose Bowl no less) depicts a single pink rose. Pink roses indicate love and gratitude, but the nuance of the message changes with the hue. One light pink rose can signify sympathy, but also happiness and admiration for the recipient. A rose of dark pink means “thank you.” A thornless pink rose can indicate love at first sight, while pink rosebuds denote a happy heart. The lovely bloom on this stamp could mean joy in the relationship with the recipient.
The 45-cent stamp (issued on August 8, 1988) features a full bouquet of yellow and red blossoms. For Victorians, yellow roses could indicate a decrease in affection or even jealously. Today, however, yellow roses are the flower of choice to denote friendship and joy. Combined in a bouquet with red roses, the message is one of happiness and celebration—joyous love, even.
Floriography—the language of flowers—is beautiful but complex. Colors and combinations of flowers and foliage can be deciphered in several ways, as each component might carry more than one meaning that changes over time. Even the number of flowers in a bouquet has significance. A bouquet of ten roses in any color combination, for example, can mean, “You are perfect.”
You may be wondering why we issued two Love stamps at two different rates in 1988. The 45-cent stamp was added to the program to meet the demand for stamps that could be used to mail wedding invitations, which typically weigh more than one ounce.
To learn more about the language of flowers, consult any number of flower dictionaries available online.