New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

Garden Flowers

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What is it about gardening that makes it among the most popular physical activities in New Zealand? Is it the chance to enjoy the great outdoors while staying close to home? The satisfaction of seeing extraordinary beauty bloom from the plainest of seeds? Or merely the simple pleasure of hard work rewarded?

Issue information

Whatever the reason, New Zealanders are garden-lovers on a grand scale, whether they are tending their own blooms or enjoying the fruits of others' labour in the many public botanical gardens and private estates open to view.

Our Garden Flowers stamp issue applauded this floral fanaticism with five beautifully illustrated flowers - each one bred and raised in New Zealand, and a product of many hours, sometimes years, of meticulous care and attention.

A Perfumed Bouquet

The Garden Flowers miniature sheet was a floral display in more ways than one - as well as presenting all five stamps in their pictorial splendour, the 45c magnolia was fragrantly perfumed! This was New Zealand Post's first-ever 'scratch and smell' stamp - a collector's item and a pleasant sensory experience in one beautiful package.

From Seedlings to Sunflowers

If you had an eye for beauty, you would have loved the Garden Flowers presentation pack. This pack included more detail on the Kiwi passion for gardening, the flowers and their breeders. You also acquired the complete set of gummed stamps, as well as the miniature sheet, plus stamp and miniature sheet first day covers.

Blossoming Beauties

The two first day covers presented the Garden Flowers in two different formats - one, the stamps themselves, the other the miniature sheet. Sitting elegantly on a white background, they reminded us of the powerful effect these bursts of colour and form have on our appreciation of nature.

Product Listing for Garden Flowers

Click on image to enlarge. 

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 45c 'Magnolia Vulcan' gummed stamp.

Bred by the late Felix Jury, the 'Vulcan' attracted international acclaim for its dramatic deep-red-wine colouring and its cup-and-saucer shaped flowers. Felix was determined to create a magnolia that gardeners could grow at home; the result is a relatively small specimen that reaches four metres in 10 years.

Single Stamp

Single 90c 'Helleborus Unnamed Hybrid' gummed stamp.

With an 1100-year history as a medicinal (although mildly poisonous) plant, the easy-care helleborus (or winter rose) has been extensively cross-bred and today is a favourite winter-flowerer. Ken Telford's as-yet-unnamed double-purple hybrid is a fine example, a delightfully colourful sight in south Otago's often frosty winter conditions.

Single Stamp

Single $1.35 'Nerine Anzac' gummed stamp.

The nerine is commonly known as the 'Guernsey lily', a name that arose in 1659 after a Dutch ship carrying bulbs from the Far East foundered and lost its cargo off the coast of the Channel island. Terry Hatch has added a new dimension to the story, naming his blood-red, April-blooming hybrid 'Anzac' in tribute to the soldiers of the Australia New Zealand Army Corps.

Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Rhododendron Charisma' gummed stamp.

Taranaki's Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust is the world's largest public rhododendron garden, with a 50-year history of breeding and growing these spectacular flowers. It has been caring for 'Charisma' since it arrived in New Zealand from Burma in 1951 - a true crowd-pleaser with its abundance of soft-pink, highly scented flowers that appear every October.

Single Stamp

Single $2.00 'Delphinium Sarita' gummed stamp.

'Sarita' became part of New Zealand's floral landscape when breeder Terry Dowdeswell was cross-breeding for double-flowered hybrid delphiniums. This compact, strong and vigorously growing plant produces a flower spike about two metres long and with well over 100 individual, ruffle-edge florets - each a delicate shade of light blue with mauve tinting.

Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet. $6.20
First Day Cover  First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $6.70
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover  First day cover with miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $6.70
Presentation Pack Presentation pack containing a selection of stamp products from the issue and further information on the Kiwi passion for gardening, the flowers and their breeders. $29.95

Technical information

Date of issue: 2 June 2004
Number of stamps: Five
Denominations and designs: 45c Magnolia 'Vulvan', 90c Helleborus 'Unamed Hybrid', $1.35 Nerine 'Anzac', $1.50 Rhododendron 'Charisma', $2.00 Delphinium 'Sarita'
Stamps and first day cover illustrated by: Susan Worthington
Stamps designed by: CommArts Design, Wellington
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 30mm x 35mm (vertical)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 50
Perforation guage: 13.85 x 13.75
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 format.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until close of business 1 June 2005.