It's a nasty March day. Nasty because despite occasional sunshine, it's cold and blustery here in Vancouver, really unpleasant to be outside. Nasty because on the other side of the world, men, women, and children are suffering and dying in the service of, or in resistance to, geopolitical strategy. So this weekend, I'm writing about binary search and gardens.

I'm beginning to recover from the nastiest cold of my adult life, and we headed off to Murray's Garden Centre, a fine and unpretentious establishment in South Vancouver selling basically everything you need; a strong claim here, where people care deeply about their gardens.

Garden stores - good ones anyhow - are an odd mixture of retail values and stinky muck under your feet - this would include, in my experience, probably the world's most famous florist, Christian Tortu's digs in Paris' Rive Gauche (now franchised in Singapore, New York and Taipei I understand) where the air is just as foetid as in Murray's greenhouses.

Many flowers for sale

Gardening is not, it seems, much practiced by the young; many gray and white heads are in evidence. Perhaps this is simply that most people aren't willing to make long-term investments, which a garden certainly is, on land they don't own, and owning land often starts in middle age.

Pansies!
Pansies!

The red-berried item below, I'm not sure what it is, it was stuck off in a corner with no price-tag, and it would be big and awkward to take home, the berries are like holly, but this isn't.

red-berried mystery plant

Eventually we were home, the weather still nasty but the slanting afternoon sun setting off the back fence nicely.

Cedar fence in the sun

Fuck geopolitics, it's a murderer's game.


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March 23, 2003
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