Postcarden is a series of artist-created mailable items somewhere in between a postcard and a gift in and of themselves. The Postcardens (boy, that’s an awkward word to pluralize, eh?) can still be mailed as postcards, with no extra postage necessary, but they’re so much more.
Each Postcarden is actually a folded-up miniature garden, of sorts. When unfolded, they reveal a 3-D scene, sort of like a diorama, with space for a small growing tray. Also included is a packet of “cress” seeds, a sort of fast-growing herb grass. Pop the seeds in the growing tray, pour in the water, and within three days they’ll begin to sprout. The plant requies minimal sunlight and care, so it’s a good gift even if your recipient is the kind of person who could kill a cactus.
There are three different settings, created by three different artists, and they’re all quite individual: One is an urban scene, with big buildings in the background; one is a bucolic rural setting, including a shed with a door that actually opens; and the last is a tall palace equipped with arches. Postcardens have been available in the U.K. for a little while, but they’re just now coming Stateside, which is why I suddenly want one (or three). Makes you rethink the value of the U.S. Post Office, doesn’t it?