New Zealanders love their gardens, and to celebrate one of our favourite pastimes New Zealand Post created a series of stamps featuring six flowers that were bred locally.
Gardening was officially recognised as the New Zealand's most popular leisure activity. Different aspects, it seemed, drew different people. For some it was therapeutic, for others it provided a connection with nature and an outlet for artistic expression. The diversity of growing conditions provided by this long, narrow and often mountainous country certainly provided opportunities for all sorts of plants to be grown. Luxuriant subtropicals flourish in the north, whilst gentians, peonies and other cold climate plants thrive in the deep south.
Each of the flowers selected in this vibrant stamp collection were either an award winner or held some special significance for New Zealanders. Three of the flowers featured on the stamps were local and international award winners – one named specifically for the International Year of Volunteers, one being the first in the world to produce this colour combination, and one for being the first yellow perennial petunia in the world.
To create the individual stamps, designer and artist Lindy Fisher created one beautiful overall image forming a bouquet, which could be fully appreciated through the miniature sheet. The bouquet was then divided to create individual stamps. As an issue they presented an overall effect of visual delight, while as individual stamps they invited appreciation of the finer detail.
The first day cover complemented the stamps with a subtle grey backdrop in the style of a watermark. A rough cobble path was featured, leading through lush garden greenery to an inviting little garden gate. The stamps formed a burst of colour superimposed over the garden image, helping to really bring them to life.
Gutter strips were also created using a series of formal, symmetrical designs featuring the flowers on the plant, forming a repetitive band through the large sheet.
Incorporating the six stamps from this issue this, miniature sheet was issued in conjunction with the stamps.
An imperforate miniature sheet was produced for inclusion in the 2001 Garden Flowers limited edition collectors pack. Each sheet was individually numbered from one through to 2,000.
Product Listing for Garden Flowers
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||7 March 2001|
|Number of stamps:||Six|
|Denominations and designs:||40c Camelia, 80c Siberian Iris, 90c Daffodil, $1.30 Chrysanthemum, $1.50 Sweet Pea, $2.00 Petunia|
|Stamps, miniature sheet and first day cover designed by:||Lindy Fisher, Auckland, New Zealand|
|Printer and process:||Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand by offset lithography|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours|
|Stamp size and format:||30mm x 35.71mm horizontal|
|Paper type:||103gsm red phosphor coated stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet||50 stamps, plus one vertical strip of five gutter images|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats for sheet stamps.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 6 March 2002.|