Rosemary & Thyme was a British television series that starred Felicity Kendal and Pam Ferris as gardening detectives Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme. The show began on ITV in 2003, and the third series ended in August 2007. On 12 May 2006, ITV announced that the third series was the last.
The show is a mixture of gardening and detective investigation as the green-thumbed sleuths delve into the world of crime, solving the various mysteries that happen to follow them around the country — and in other countries as well.
Laura Thyme (Pam Ferris) is a former policewoman whose husband has abandoned her for a younger woman; Rosemary Boxer (Felicity Kendal) is a plant biology lecturer whose academic career is cut short. A sudden death brings them together and they discover their shared love of the soil and a natural inquisitiveness.
Forced to reassess their lives, they hope their new-found friendship will lead to future gardening commissions, not more detective work. But whilst Laura and Rosemary don’t think of themselves as sleuths – they are just as interested in a problem with a rosebush as with a dead body – mysteries have a habit of following them around.
The fact that they are inconspicuous gardeners means that they overhear secrets and dig up clues which not only lead them to rectify the floral problems but also solve the crime and capture the criminal.
Whilst Rosemary Boxer investigates some diseased trees at the home of an old friend, Laura Thyme starts recovering from a recent divorce. Leaving her home behind she finds herself in the same hotel as Rosemary, and together they uncover a sinister plot concerning Rosemary's ill friend.
Now working together, Rosemary and Laura are enlisted by an aging rock star to help renovate the grounds of his newly-bought mansion. However when the singer is found dead and the skeleton of a horse is found nearby, the pair discover a past rivalry is rearing its head once more.
The two gardeners are asked by the Caldecott family to restore a grand water cascade in the grounds of their mansion-turned-health spa. Stumped by the long-decayed mechanics of the feature, Rosemary and Laura soon realise all is not well: a killer is on the loose and family ties are the motive behind a murder.
Trying to uncover the source of disease in the lawn of a special language college, Rosemary and Laura are shocked to find a dead body at the roadside nearby. A ceremonial knife causes a stir at the school and everything appears to be centred around Angelica, one of the school's students.
Rosemary takes Laura to see an old Professor friend of hers, who is having trouble with his allotment. Flowers are dying at random and he suspects the nearby building site is to blame. A political dispute soon becomes evident and after the Professor is killed, Rosemary finds herself in danger.
Restoring a churchyard for an upcoming fayre, Rosemary and Laura befriend the local vicar, but soon become entangled in a murder enquiry when a man is found dead by a tree where they are working. The suspects are many, and it is up to the two gardeners to save the day.
Whilst restoring a walled garden at Lyvedon Manor, Rosemary and Laura find themselves entangled in the watery death of Jim, the mysterious cousin of the house's owner. Horticultural help arrives in the form of ex-cons from the local prison, and it is up to the two sleuthing gardeners to solve the mystery. Then Jim is seen alive by Rosemary, but a dead body is found on the river.
Laura and Rosemary are called upon by an old friend to help create a memorial garden, based around the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. Helena, Laura's daughter, is angry with her mother for ending her marriage, while Rosemary's discovery of a Smooth Ink-Cap fungus provides vital clues to the mysterious death of a recovering alcoholic.
At Villa Glavany, in the French Riveira, Rosemary and Laura are helping their friend Dorothy prepare the 150 year old gardens for a public opening. Neighbour James Pretty is stopping at nothing to ensure that this does not happen. And how will Rosemary and Laura explain to Agathe, the French housekeeper, when they find Dorothy's husband dead in the living room?
Roses are dying at Stagford Lodge Preparatory School, and classics master Richard Oakley calls upon the two gardeners to help restore the flower beds. On the last day of term, the mysterious ritual involving a member of staff dressed as a Stag turns sour, when Simon Todd, the geography master, is found dead in the undergrowth, killed by a harpoon from the headteacher's prized harpoon gun. Rosemary and Laura must weed out the killer from the school's sinister staff before it is too late.
Qunnie Dorrell, a famous round-the-world yacht sailor, is roped in to boost the ratings of Gavin Patterson's failing TV garden makeover programme. Her fear of heights persuades Rosemary to present an overview of the developments from scaffolding high above the gardens, but a loose bolt causes her to plummet to the ground. Then visiting journalist Rosie FitzCarron is electrocuted in the swimming pool. With Rosemary recovering in hospital, it is up to Laura to solve the seemingly unconnected events.
Rosemary and Laura travel to the Ligurian Coast in Italy, where their old friend Emma Standish is getting ready to open her new restaurant. But a tour around the famous Giardini Tremonti comes to an abrupt end when one of their party, Janice Alexander, is found battered to death in the shrubbery. With so many flamboyant personalities in the area, it takes all of Laura and Rosemary's sleuthing skills to solve the mystery. Then another body is found, tossed over the edge of a cliff-top garden.
Laura gets the shock of her life when it is announced that Rosemary has been shot dead in the grounds of Engleton Park. She later discovers that Rosemary's college pal Gemma Jackson was posing as her to gain access to the Roman dig nearby, and was killed. Lord Engleton's connection with the Archaeological department provides clues to who may have committed the crime. But the murders soon start piling up, when Laura finds another body dumped in the mansion's greenhouse.
Grania Monkton's secrecy over her hiring of the two gardeners makes Rosemary uncomfortable when they are asked to solve the case of the mysterious blight that has afflicted the competing gardens in line for the trophy of the annual Rowfield Garden Open Day Scheme. Her suspicions are confirmed when Donald Westward, who is seriously disliked by all residents of the village, is found dead under a collapsed branch, and his garden savaged. Suspects are plenty, particularly unfriendly gardener Judd, and the Skinners, who don't fit in with the rest of the village. But it is up to our two heroines to capture the criminal and save the competition.
While a deadly weed threatens to overwhelm acres of vines, an unseen killer terrorises the population of Crickle Valley's vineyard and hotel. With the future of the entire area in doubt, can Rosemary and Laura solve the case and save this year's vintage?
Not everybody seems happy with Rosemary and Laura's presence in Wellminster Cathedral's old monastery garden. When a body is discovered amongst the herbs, the ladies realise they could be in serious danger. What dark secrets have this tight-knit community been concealing?
Rosemary and Laura are called upon to help re-organise the seed collection of famous botanist Edwin Pargeter. When a mysterious South American man is found dead in the Pargeters' back garden, it looks as if there is more to Edwin's seeds than meets the eye.
Invited to a former boyfriend's beautiful home in the hills of Southern Spain, Rosemary must not let the attentions of a jealous wife distract her and Laura from an intriguing mystery involving murder and mountainside's water supply.
When Harley Street psychiatrist Pavel Volkar is murdered in Regent's Park, Rosemary and Laura are on hand to try and unravel the mystery. Accompanied by Holly, Volkar's three-legged dog, they begin to realise that Holly's misfortune may be linked to that of her deceased owner...
Hired to create a memorial garden as a wedding gift, Rosemary is left holding the baby when she and Laura discover an abandoned child under a gooseberry bush. Is there a connection between the baby and the murder of a local artist?
Tragedy strikes at a Spanish tennis camp as the body of one of the Pro-Am tournament players is discovered. Initially dismissed as a drunken accident, Rosemary and Laura suspect foul play as they realise the resort is not as idyllic as it appears.
Called upon to help with the construction of a garden for an amateur drama production, Rosemary and Laura are shocked by a vicious murder involving a prop gun loaded with live ammunition. As opening night looms, will they be able to find the killer?
The final two episodes of series three ("Racquet Espanol" and "Enter Two Gardeners") were not aired with the rest of the series during 2005-06. They were eventually broadcast in late July and early August 2007.
Due to the outdoor nature of the show and the brevity of the British summer, it became the practice to set two of each series episodes in overseas locations. Two stories were in preparation for shooting in Portugal when the ITV Network Centre decided to cancel plans for a fourth series.