Yes its spring again and this red squirrel is enjoying the blossom. It is one of this year's 'Congratulations' set designed by Kaarina Toivanan who is well know for her woodland creatures and has designed other stamps for Finland Posti such as the Christmas Elves. The 'Congratulations' stamps come in a book with matching 'priority' stickers, the one that Eeva attached on her envelope to me was of red berries which I am sure the squirrels enjoy as much as humans do.
More blossom covers the trees on this German stamp. In 2006 they issued one stamp for each season throughout the year and for summer it was a field of flowering rapeseed.
The 'flowers' theme of Sunday Stamps is well timed for it is also the theme chosen for all this year's machine stamps or 'post and go'. The nearest machine to me is about a hundred miles away and I have never actually attached any to an envelope, or indeed seen a machine, so instead here they are on a FDC. One of the first blossom to appear as we emerge from winter is the blackthorn (bottom right), it stands out amongst the bare hedges and that is time for me to make a mental note of where it blooms well so a return can be made later in the year to pick sloes to make Sloe Gin for Christmas and of course to ward off winter colds.
How appropriate that the camellia appears on this German stamp for it was the German botanist Engelbert Kaemfer who first reported this 'Japan Rose' which grew wild in Asia's woodland but was also cultivated for the garden and we have been growing it in English gardens since the 18th Century.
The hot ticket for every gardener is the Chelsea Flower Show which celebrated its anniversary in 2013. I don't think I would relish striding across a water feature with a crowd watching but the Queen is wisely concentrating where she is putting her feet on the stones. The cover comes with a Lilium 'Lemon Pixie' flower stamp as photographed by Barbara and Zafer Barran together with a 'Celebration' stamp with attached label. The label features a photograph of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee flower display in 2012 which had a Jersey stamp on the top. The climate of the Channel Islands makes it perfect for growing cut flowers but a sight seen there and all around the coasts of the UK are the little
Guernsey Definitive c2008
Sea Campion which flower from March onwards. They would have shrugged off the salt laden winds of winter for they are highly tolerant of salt and can even be found in drift zones. It does not show up on the scan but the flower is actually raised up from the stamp surface and has a slight glisten.
An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps whose theme this week is - Flowers.