Jackie Herkowitz wanted to do something creative with the garden at her Old Worthington condo on High Street, but she couldn't find the right fit.

She said she didn't have enough space for a sprawling garden and the fairy-garden trend was "too silly" for her liking.

So instead of taking a traditional route, she said she drew inspiration from her youth and her "dinosaur garden" was hatched.

"All of a sudden, I got right back into it," she said of her childhood love of dinosaurs.

Herkowitz, 74, has five miniature dinosaur exhibits displayed in her garden. The depictions are two triceratops, a pterodactyl, a brontosaurus, a pair of Tyrannosaurus rex and a trio of "prehistoric water monsters."

The scenes aren't just straightforward dinosaur displays.

When Herkowitz added the tall brontosaurus to her collection, she depicted him as a basketball-playing dinosaur, complete with a jersey and four sneakers.

"I decided it was so big, proportionally to the others, I'd make him a basketball player," she said with a laugh.

From then on, she decided it was more fun to do lighthearted scenes than realistic ones.

"I just thought to myself, 'Let's get funny with them,' " she said.

In her T. rex scene, a mother is "teaching" her baby near a chalkboard bearing the message, "Be nice," because, Herkowitz said, the species is known for being "so ferocious."

Meanwhile, the water-oriented beasts are playing on a beach next to a scuba diver and a lifeguard.

Herkowitz said introducing new people to the dinosaurs is particularly entertaining, especially when someone comes to her house for a delivery or some kind of service.

"They go, 'What's that dinosaur doing there?' " she said. "Then they start looking around."

Next summer might bring a new batch of dinosaurs to Herkowitz' home but she hasn't quite planned that far ahead, she said. She is interested in adding a stegosaurus or some velociraptors, she said.

In the meantime, she is enjoying what she already has and how it reminds her of her childhood.

"They really honor some of the things that were important to us when we were young," she said.

Herkowitz said she would welcome children or others interested in seeing the dinosaur displays.

She may be contacted at herkowitz@att.net.

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