From a distance, the front yard on Ferdon seems like an impressive display of colorful flowers.
by Mary Hunt
From the July, 2020 issue
Get closer, and you'll see that among the flowers lurk dozens and dozens of plastic dinosaurs, some quite large, some only an inch or two tall. Many small ones march along a low block retaining wall. Others are tucked under foliage plants or bask in sunny spots. Showpieces are a tyrannosaurus rex, two or three feet tall, an even larger brontosaurus, and a velociraptor rearing up and baring its jagged sharp teeth, eight feet long from its big head to its very long tail.
The dinosaur collection started modestly as landscape accents in Jeanne Wright's vibrant flower garden. Empty nesters, she and her husband, Tyke, used some of their childrens' toys they'd stored in the basement. Neighbors added their own discarded dinos.
The quirky garden has become a local attraction in the neighborhood south of Stadium Blvd. In good weather some fifty or sixty people a day stop by: neighborhood kids with and without parents or grandparents, some visitors on bikes, others pushing strollers. One boy comes every day. Children and even adults like to rearrange them by size, by color, by type--carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. Sometimes little kids practice counting them.
"The more people played with the dinos, the more we stopped at yard sales to get more of them," says Tyke. "It became a circle." Photos, illustrations, and children's drawings of dinosaurs started showing up in the mailbox or by the front door.
One year, in conjunction with the March for Science, some dinos carried political signs: "Science is real; Denial is deadly," "Science is not an alternative fact," and "There is no planet B." This year, two big dinos are wearing face masks.
Few if any dinos have been pilfered. At the end of each season, when the Wrights put them away, there are more than there were in spring. Last fall the count was 156.
[Originally published in July, 2020.]
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