‘Genny Garden’ blooms again at Thorndale

       For the third straight year, the late Genny Sucharski is being memorialized with a garden in Thorndale Park. Bright colors emanate from the flowers in the “Family and Friends of Genny” garden at Thorndale Park.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Passersby will see about 400 flowers, including blue petunias, orange marigolds and blue salvias, in the plot at the southeast corner of the park, at 23rd and Uintah streets.
       The design is intended to be a sun with rays. Zinnias were supposed to form the face of the sun, but they did poorly in the early-June heat wave and will have to be replaced, according to Karen Sucharski, Genny's mother; and Lee Gray, her grandmother.
       Genny Sucharski, a budding artist and engineer, died at age 18 in the year 2000 in a car accident on her way back from her freshman year of college.
       The “Family and Friends of Genny” garden started in 2004 after the city, in a tight budget year, started the Springs in Bloom program, appealing to citizens to voluntarily adopt the 100-some public garden plots that City Parks had traditionally planted with flowers every spring. That first year, the adopters had to purchase their own flowers, plant them, do the weeding and make sure of the watering. Now the city at least provides the flowers and the watering.
       As a family effort, Genny's garden is rare among the adopted gardens in the city - most of which are taken on by large businesses or institutions.
       Karen Sucharski believes the garden is helping her handle the grief of her daughter's loss. The first year's design was a sun and moon, and last year's was a big heart. “It's an evolving thing,” she said.

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