. . . was apparently not appreciated by the police officer in my doorway.
It seems you can't go au naturel in your front yard.
What? . . . Oh, no, no, no. It's not what you think. I had let the plants in my yard go the way that Mother Nature intended--without water in this desert land of ours and rich with weeds (which seem to be incredibly drought-tolerant, by the way).
It was several years ago that I was visited by the Neighborhood Preservation Police. Ouch. I tried to keep things light and he returned with a relaxed response about "just watering and mowing" to keep further troubles at bay--public flogging, banishment, citation.
I cried when he left. I was so humiliated. Here I was with a needy newborn, a busy toddler, a broken sprinkling system, and now, the little dignity I had left was violently ripped from me, at gunpoint (well, not exactly, but he did have a gun, so, it's pretty much the same thing).
Now, truth be told, I was not trying to make a moral-ethical-green-living-statement with my yard. I was just lazy. It did make me think, though. I am now in the middle of a several-year re-design of our landscaping--with water-efficiency, native plantings, and food production as my main design goals.
As for the back yard, though, . . . you could probably go au naturel out there.