‘Genny Garden’ thriving at Thorndale for 4th year

       Genny's garden is growing again.
       For the fourth straight year, dating back to the inception of the city's Springs in Bloom program in 2004, a volunteer group called the Family and Friends of Genny is nurturing a flower bed at the southeast corner of Thorndale Park.
       A total of 880 flowers, patterned in a yin-yang shape, will be coming to full bloom during the summer.
       “We planted it on Territory Days Sunday,” said Lee Gray, who undertook the planting with her husband Tom and their daughter, Karen Sucharski, and her husband Mark. “A million people came by and said thank you. We said, if you ever see a weed, feel free to pull it up.”
       The garden commemorates Karen and Mark's daughter Genny, who died in a car crash in 2000 after her first year of college.
       Karen said that for the last two years when she's worked on the garden she's also thought about her sister, Dona Jeanne Gray, who had been a hard-working part of the “Family and Friends” before dying in 2005 at age 45.
       Springs in Bloom started when City Parks Department budget cuts would otherwise have eliminated the annual planting of flowers in road medians and parks around the city. Now, about 70 such flower beds are annually tended by volunteer groups or companies, using flowers grown by the city to match desired patterns.
       This year's Genny Garden will feature two main colors - yellow (marigolds) and green (an unknown, non-flowering plant), reflecting the school colors at Manitou Springs High, from which Genny graduated. Another major color will be white (alyssums).
       “I think they'll be really beautiful,” Karen said.

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