ALBANY COUNTY — In the sunshine of an April afternoon, Carole Henry walks between carefully tended amoeba-like gardens and reaches down, as if greeting old friends after a long winter.

As open space becomes scarce, municipalities are looking to their zoning code to help stem the tide of development.

Wayne Crounse of 2071 Western Ave. remembers a grassroots effort by housewives from Western Avenue in the 1950s who wanted a traffic light at the corner of Route 20 and State Farm Road. New Karner Road had not yet been built.

While plants like string of pearls, snake plants, and king sago palms may look and sound unusual, care for these and other houseplants has become commonplace.