This article in the New York Times is right on topic for us Ranters – the amazing situation that in 2006 the powers that be in Salt Lake City still require that front yards be completely covered with short, green grass. But no less a challenger than its current mayor has switched to drought-tolerant plants – it's the DESERT, for Chrissakes – and seen a 65 percent drop in his water bill. He's also learned something we could have told him – that it "takes a lot of work to keep it healthy and attractive." So that sound you hear is the bubble of no-maintenance gardening being popped, once again. Some cities have adopted reality-based policies, I was glad to read, and so in Phoenix cactus has become the "decoration of choice."