Not licked yet

These are not the best of times for the United States Postal Service – the agency Americans love to hate but can’t live without. The Postal Service does more than sell stamps, handle letters and ship packages. It delivers 100 percent of veterans’ medications, sells money orders and even conveys live poultry, according to fan and “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver. 

Indeed, the postal service – an independent agency of the executive branch founded by the Second Continental Congress in 1775, with Benjamin Franklin as the first postmaster general – remains a potent symbol of American democracy. (See Kevin Costner’s 1997 film “The Postman,” or rather don’t. It wasn’t very good but you get the idea.)

One way you can support the postal service is with the purchase of its stunning stamps, like its new salute to American gardens. The American Gardens Forever stamps come in a panel of 20 and feature doubles of 10 photographs of prominent gardens taken between 1996 and 2014 by Allen Rokach. The gardens are the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (New York), Chicago Botanic Garden (Illinois); Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (Maine); Dumbarton Oaks Garden (District of Columbia); The Huntington Botanical Gardens (California); Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park (Florida); Norfolk Botanical Garden (Virginia); Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (Ohio); and Winterthur Garden (Delaware). Ethel Kessler served as art director and designer.

Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through the Postal Store at, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic, or at post office locations nationwide.

And for more on gardens, check out WAG’s May “Visionary Gardens” issue here.

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