Monday, July 16th, 2018

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Chris Sherwin carries on legacy of beloved Halle Bros. geraniums

Chris Sherwin carries on legacy of beloved Halle Bros. geraniums


 The Halle Bros. logo, with its signature salmon-colored geranium that adorned the bags and boxes of the department store, has been a beloved symbol known to generations of Clevelanders. Soon the beautiful plants themselves that served as inspiration will be available, hopes Chris Sherwin, who been growing them for some 20 years in the Sherwin family greenhouse.
 "My husband Brian”s parents were the late Francis and Margaret Halle Sherwin. Margaret was the daughter of Blanche and Sam Halle and sister of Walter Halle" said Chris. "It was Margaret who picked geraniums for her mother [Blanche] to wear on her lapel because Blanche said that they made her feel happy and optimistic."
 According to Chris, Walter Halle and his son Chisholm liked the geraniums so much that they decided not only to create the floral logo for the boxes and bags but also to call the in-store restaurant The Geranium Room.
 The plant itself cannot be patented, its origin most likely dating prior to 1940, according to Chris who has trademarked the words Halle Bros. Geranium. Her mission has been to reach the commercial market, finding local growers to propagate cuttings. So far, she has growers in Olmsted Falls and in the Burton/Middlefield region.
 "I wanted to return the geraniums to Euclid Ave.," said Chris, who approached Claudio Caviglia, general manager of The Union Club, right across the street from the former Halle Bros. store. "He has arranged for the geraniums to be planted in the Club”s window boxes. It will take about 160 plants that have been grown in Olmsted Falls."
   Geraniums from the eastern site grower were available at The Holden Arboretum”s annual Plant Sale earlier this month. At this writing, Chris said that she has been working hard to have enough geraniums grown in order to make them available albeit in limited supply, most likely by next year”s planting season. The geraniums, said Chris, "are really easy to grow," and are exceptionally sturdy, reaching a height of 24 inches or more and have extra large blooms.
 These lovely and beloved geraniums will be well worth your wait to have a living legacy of Halle Brothers. In the meantime, take time to admire them the next time you stroll down Euclid Ave.!


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