calendula cosmos stamps

Seeds are truly miraculous. Witnessing how a little morsel barely the size of sand granule can turn itself into a beautiful, brightly colored flower or a mouth-watering vegetable is exhilirating and worth the wait. It’s no wonder seeds have inspired beautiful artwork, which, to the delight of gardeners, is often displayed on seed packets. To share the joy of seeing those seeds materialize from little specks to the gorgeous images show on a packet, the US Postal Service has just launched a stamp collection featuring 10 images from vintage flower seed packets. So get yours and send out some floral spring greetings!

digitalis linum stamps

Those of you that are gardeners have probably already invested in several seed packets for the coming season, enjoying the images of your favorite flower and veggie varieties that will give you a lush and bountiful summer garden. The newly released stamp collection celebrates the beauty of classic American garden flowers, with each stamp featuring a variety commonly recognized among gardeners. Tiny alyssums, blooming asters, a bright calendula, a trio of cute cosmos, dainty digitalis, lovely linums, pretty phlox, a duo of pinks, popping primrose flowers and vibrant zinnias will each grace a stamp, and soon be making their way all around the country.

 primrose zinnia stamps

The Postal Services’ art director, Antonio Alcalá, was inspired by the intricate details of vintage flower illustrations, cropping each packet cover in order to showcase the details of the blossom. Dating between the years of 1910 and 1920, the antique illustrations were originally created using chromolithography, which replaced laborious and costly hand-tinted lithographs, as it provided means for creating multi-color prints inexpensively. Since WW2 many seed companies switched over to photographs, but a recent resurgence of the romance and nostalgia evoked by vintage imagery has brought about the re-introduction of these antique illustrations.

aster alyssum stamps

We’re so glad to see the immaculate beauty of these heritage flowers playing into our social infrastructure, hopefully spurring more interest in– and appreciation for–the species that have graced many gardens nationwide for decades. The first-class stamps are available at any US post office for 46 cents each or $9.20 for a booklet of 20 stamps. Share the spirit of spring in your next letter, and maybe even include the seeds of the flower that it’s been stamped with so the recipient can usher in the new season. 

phlox pinks stamps

Images: © 2013 US Postal Service