Are you going to Scarborough Fayre
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine.
Some of you will remember the line about parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme in the old British ballad “Scarborough Fayre” and later made famous by Simon and Garfunkel with their hit song “Are You Going to Scarborough Fair”.
Well here in New Zealand we see a lot of sitcoms both from the US and the UK. We were recently being shown a series called Rosemary and Thyme, the general theme of which is that two women each with a love of plants, get together to form a gardening partnership. They are Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme hence the name Rosemary and Thyme.
No ordinary gardeners these. Laura Thyme was married to a policeman, was in the police force herself and has a son who is also a policeman. You can guess where this is going?
Rosemary Boxer was a former university professor and they share a passion for horticulture.
They are also amateur sleuths, with Rosemary being the intuitive one and Laura the practical one. It seems that as soon as they start a new assignment some dastardly happening occurs. Plots, conspiracies and killers abound amongst the gardens they are asked to tend and put right. And in each episode there is a dead body and sometimes even two dead bodies.
A recent episode was entitled ‘Three Legs Good”**. In it the two women are hired to help recreate an old garden in Regent’s Park, London. We are told that the garden was originally created by garden great William Nesfield. Joggers, students, tramps and even nannies who have lost their charges, constantly interrupt them in their work. Then their peace is shattered when a little three-legged dog leads the ladies to the body of its owner who has been murdered.
Another murder rapidly follows and they determine (before the police of course) that the original murder was a case of mistaken identity! They adopt the dog and then in a convoluted way (such is the case in all these sitcoms) they find that the dog had lost its leg in a car accident. Its master was driving the car with his married lover – she was killed in the accident and the dog lost its leg.
The show is peppered with shots of beautiful gardens, fantastic places to visit and quite often, lovely gracious homes in which they stay.
In all an innocent series and although there are murders and mayhem, we dont see the murders being committed. The series takes me back so many years, when violence was not shown on television.
**The title Three Legs Good is an allusion to George Orwell’s book Animal Farm. When the animals first turn out the farmer and start running their own lives, their slogan is “Four legs good, two legs bad”. Eventually the pigs move into the farm-house and learn to walk on two legs, and the slogan becomes “Four legs good, two legs better.”
Our England is a garden, and such gardens
are not made
By singing: -“Oh, how beautiful!”
and sitting in the shade.
~Rudyard Kipling, “The Glory of the Garden”
- DVD Review: Rosemary & Thyme – The Complete Collection (blogcritics.org)
- Adventures in Netflix! Episode 9: Rosemary and Thyme (with guest EmotedLlama) (soulishexhortations.wordpress.com)