Debra Prinzing

Get the Email Newsletter!

Stamps for the gardener

August 21st, 2008

Commemorative “Gardening-Horticulture” stamp, 3-cents, issued in 1958 (from my father’s stamp collection – mint condition)

I know we’re all dependent on the Internet for swift correspondence, but I, for one, am still a huge fan of the hand-written letter. It’s not just the pen- or pencil-inscribed words one writes that matter. Think about other non-verbal cues we convey. Beyond the thoughts communicated by careful penmanship, there is also the selection of paper, note card, or greeting card that implies volumes of meaning. Even the color and type of ink sends a full range of sentiments.

I cherish hand-written notes. I have collected shoeboxes-full of them, saved by year, since the 1970s when my dearest and best childhood friend, Lori, and I started writing to one another after my family moved from New England to Portland, Oregon. I have the cherished love letters, the newsy updates from my mother, the thoughtfully-written narratives from another Lori in my life, who lives in Europe (she is known for excellent choice of paper, as well!). And then there’s Paula, who still jots notes with an old-fashioned ink pen (I just received one as a gift, so perhaps I’ll try to do the same). These “snail mail” versions of human communication trump the Internet on any occasion.

And, of course, I carefully choose my stamps. The artful, attractive ones are saved for friends, family and professional contacts. I delegate the patriotic bells and flags for my bill payments. Silly, I know.

Look what I discovered last week. Just out: Sunflowers, 42-cents!



We could have used these stamps back in 2000, when my friends Julie and Nancy and I were second-grade moms at McGilvra Elementary in Seattle. We threw ourselves into the auction of the century (millenium?) and called it “Plant a Seed for the Future.”

The invitation and catalog artwork, created by the very talented Willo Bellwood (who subsequently married equally talented Bob Meader, now my web-master), was based on a packet of sunflower seeds. Too cute for words. To this day, if any of us sees something with sunflowers on it, we think back to the insane days of the auction, the breakfast meetings at Tully’s in Madison Park, and the middle-of-the-night voicemail messages sent to each other. For a year of our lives, it was all sunflowers, all the time!

SO please, send a hand-written note to someone. Use an elegant piece of paper, a nice pen, and of course, send it with an attractive stamp!

UPDATE (Sept. 6, 2008)

My mom, Anita Prinzing, just mailed me an envelope filled with cool horticultural and plant-themed postage stamps. She raided my dad’s collection. Here’s a photo of the montage . . . cool, huh?

4 Responses to “Stamps for the gardener”

  1. Lydia Plunk Says:

    Years ago, a couple times a year I would trek over the post office in West Covina- they had a marvelous store on the side with a humungous assortment of postage stamps. I would load up so every piece of mail that left here would bear the emblem that the recipient was special. The stamp might be related to their hobby, a holiday or occasion or even go with the design on the envelope. Now makes it easy to pick out stamps of baseball or flowers, alpine meadows or pollinators.
    Because real letters are real, they are an excellent gift. Looking back, I’ve been not as sentimental as I should have been in those I have kept- but there are a few notes put away which I would rather part with my jewelry.

  2. Shed Style: Architecture, Interiors, and Ornamentation In The Garden » Blog Archive » What’s filling my in-box Says:

    […] could attend the same summer camp of her childhood. As a memento of our sunflower obsession (see my “Stamps for the Gardener” post on August 21st), Julie tucked a book of the current sunflower postage stamps inside her note. […]

  3. Dolores Says:

    Beautiful site, and nice article about the stamps! The “gardening-horticulture” stamp is one of my favourites. The colour and shape are beautiful! I am a passionate gardener from the Netherlands and also a stamp collector. One of the topics I collect is gardens on stamps. (and flowers, animals, tools, everything that has to do with gardening) If you want to see more stamps, also with gardens on it, I have a group at MyPhilately:
    Good luck with this great site, I’ll certainly am going to read it more!
    Best regards, Dolores

  4. Jason M. Says:

    I am totally agree with Dolores on gardening-horticulture stamp. This is one of my favorites too.

Leave a Reply