Show your own Commemoration of the War of 1812

Plant Red Geraniums!


Ruth Redmond, a Niagara Falls school teacher, began buying up properties in the Falls that played a significant role in the famous War of 1812 Battle of Lundy's Lane for posterity.  In 1996, at the age of 93 she donated the land to the city with the condition that it be turned into a commemorative park honouring everyone who fought and died in the Battle.

The Red Geranium was Ruth's favourite flower and is being used at the symbol to mark the Bicentennial.  Both the Niagara Falls 1812 Task Force and the Niagara 1812 Legacy Council are determined to keep the history of the War of 1812 alive today and are eager to gain attention to the Bicentennial.  The Red Geranium is a perfect way to pay tribute to both a legendary war and a legendary woman determined to preserve what she could of it.

A bill was introduced to Canadian Parliament by MP Kim Craitor to make the Red Geranium the official flower and symbol of the War of 812.  This bill still needs to pass second reading where it will garner more serious attention but until then we can plant the Red Geranium as a way to commemorate the soldiers who fought in the War of 1812 and secured our nation as Canada.

During 2012, as a reminder of the Commemoration of the War of 1812, organizers are asking communities and residents to plant Red Geraniums as an acknowledgement of the sacrifices and losses suffered during the defense of what would become Canada.

In Ontario, towns and cities (such as Simcoe) have already committed to public displays of Red Geraniums in gardens and street planters.  Aside from the striking appeal of Canada's national colour, the fragrance of Red Geraniums is unmistakable and adds yet another sensory reminder of our ancestors who saw their duty and ably stepped forward to fulfill it.

Red Geraniums are easy to grow and require very little attention other than prudent watering.  They do well in light soil and frequent fertilizing will ensure a bounty of blossoms.  Although they love water, care should be taken to keep water off the leaves and blossoms, away from sprinklers.

There several varieties of geraniums which are red, so go for the brightest red for maximum effect.  For more information on how care for geraniums, click here.

Windowboxes, patio planters, large pots or single small pots, grouped together in a border or in a small garden are all ways to remind neighbours and passersby of Canadian pride and determination in the face of challenges. 

Together, as Canadians, we can make a statement of remembrance, appreciation and natural beauty that will be warmly recalled for years to come.


Life did not bring me silken gowns,
Nor jewels for my hair,
Nor signs of gabled foreign towns
In distant countries fair,
Clear DotBut I can glimpse, beyond my pane, a green and friendly hill,
Clear DotAnd red geraniums aflame upon my window sill.

The brambled cares of everyday,
The tiny humdrum things,
May bind my feet when they would stray,
But still my heart has wings
Clear DotWhile red geraniums are bloomed against my window glass,
Clear DotAnd low above my green-sweet hill the gypsy wind-clouds pass.

And if my dreamings ne'er come true,
The brightest and the best,
But leave me lone my journey through,
I'll set my heart at rest,
Clear DotAnd thank God for home-sweet things, a green and friendly hill,
Clear DotAnd red geraniums aflame upon my window sill.

Clear Dotby Martha Haskell Clark

POET'S CORNER FOR SUMMER, 2000, Marin Rose Society

-:  Trailing Red Geraniums   :-