Thursday, November 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Bonsai forever

I don't know about you, but going to my local post office these days is an ordeal on many levels. So I buy my stamps online and only venture into the neighborhood post office when there's no other choice.

Bonsai forever

I don't know about you, but going to my local post office these days is an ordeal on many levels. So I buy my stamps online and only venture into the neighborhood post office when there's no other choice.

Yesterday was one of those days. I had to mail a package. But bonus! Some new bonsai forever stamps debuted that very morning and I figured I could pick some up in person. But no, they didn't have the new stamps. Half the time they don't have 1-cent stamps either, which is a real pain when you've got a desk full of 44-cent stamps and postage goes up a penny - as it just did.

But I digress. Bonsai stamps: I'm not a huge fan of this ancient art but the stamps are surprisingly lovely, and a welcome diversion from the bland American flag forevers. Sue me for saying so, but I think flags and liberty bells make the worst stamps. Give us color. Give us a character or a story. Give us something fun to put on the precious few things we actually mail anymore.

The postal service gave us four bonsais: a Sierra juniper,  a trident maple, a black pine, and what you see here, a multiple-trunk azalea such as you've probably never seen before. The plants depicted are less than two feet tall.

Flower show's coming up, and while I just said I'm not a big fan of bonsai, I make a point of stopping by the bonsai exhibit at the show. The artists are often on site and open to answering questions. It really is fascinating, even if you're not interested in keeping your trees small.

Then again, you could always mail those artists a letter - using your new bonsai stamps, of course.

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected