The Red Geranium Mystery – The Coeur d’Alene Resort

Posted on: May 8, 2020


“Happy Monday!” I said to my coworker as we entered our office building.

“Uh, it’s Geranium Day!” My coworker giggled excitedly as we hopped in the elevator, about to head up to work.

“Geranium Day? What’s that?”

“Oh, you know! It’s the day the entire resort team gets together and plants thousands of geraniums all around Coeur d’Alene. It’s a bit of a holiday around here. I’m surprised you didn’t know about it.” She laughed as the elevator slowed to a stop.

“A holiday? The only holiday I thought was coming up was Mother’s Day.”

She laughed and said, “Yeah, that’s kind of the point!” before exiting the elevator.

Geranium Day… What on earth is Geranium Day? I wondered as I sat down at my desk and began combing through my emails.

Choruses of laughter filled the air outside. Glancing out my window, I saw dozens of grinning people wearing garden gloves, holding trowels and carrying stunning red flowers. By the end of the day, the once-barren flower beds were now adorned with vibrant blasts of red flowers. As I walked the few blocks to my car, I noticed several buildings on the way were decorated with the striking patches of red geraniums.

That was May of 2019. It is now a year later and Geranium Day is quickly approaching (May 19 & 20th, 2020) and I have learned more about this fascinating Coeur d’Alene holiday.

14,000. That’s how many flowers are to be planted on Geranium Day this year. But not just any flowers, the breathtaking Tango Red Geranium. 14,000 spectacular geraniums cover The Coeur d’Alene Resort each year. Their vibrant red petals light up the lawns and gardens surrounding The Coeur d’Alene Resort.

The planting crew begins early Geranium Day at a flower bed known as Geranium Hill before moving onto the other various flowerbeds around The Resort. In the spirit of family, it’s not just gardeners and landscapers, it’s everyone at The Resort. With all-hands-on-deck, every team and department shows up early, puts on their gardening gloves, and begins planting beautiful Tango Red Geraniums in flowerbeds around The Coeur d’Alene Resort and downtown Coeur d’Alene.

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2017 Geranium Day (12)

These CdA flowerbeds include the Hagadone Event Center, Boardwalk Bridge, Hagadone Corporation Office, Plaza Shops, Johnston Building, Coeur d’Alene Press, Hagadone Marine Center, and Silver Beach Marina.

Many of the planters have participated in Geranium Day before and they have it down to a science. Specifically, a three-step science – drill, drop and toss. First, they begin by drilling a small hole into the dirt. Then the geranium plant is dropped into the hole. Finally, the plastic bag is tossed from the plant and the planter gingerly packs the dirt around the geranium, giving it a snug little home for the summer.

With so many smiling faces and an excuse to break out of the office for the morning, the people who work at The Coeur d’Alene look forward to Geranium Day each year. Some of them even say it’s their favorite holiday.

The reason behind Geranium Day is quite heartwarming. The founder of the Coeur d’Alene Resort, Duane Hagadone, started the tradition to honor his mother. Her favorite flower was the red geranium, specifically the Tango Red Geranium. This makes the timing of Geranium Day even more special because Geranium Day always falls around Mother’s Day.

And while some may shrug Geranium Day off as just a great day to plant flowers, it brings a huge smile to my face to think of the kind man who has found a way to bring thousands of flowers to his mother every Mother’s Day.

CDA Resort Golf Course (10)

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