Rosemary & Thyme . . .

I can't tell you how much I enjoy things intended for middle aged women who prefer elastic-waisted pants. It really, truly is one of my favorite things. You give me a (late-90s) episode of "Days of Our Lives" or an episode of "The Golden Girls" or "60 Minutes" (say nothing of knitting needles, red wine with ice cubes, and discreet sex toys - er MASSAGERS) and I'm in. ALL the way in.

Something else I love more than drinks on the lanai? TV shows about detectives and sleuths. "Poirot"? "Psych"? "Murder She Wrote" (I'm even more shocked than you that I've never done a post on Angela Lansbury's splendor)? I'm in. For that matter - Terriers, Monk, Columbo . . . line 'em up.

FORGET anything that combines my two real loves (in this context) . . . detective shows targeted squarely at middle-aged women. Enter my latest obsession and binge watch . . . "Rosemary & Thyme" and all its magic.

Let me explain (because I'm willing to bet you've never heard of this gem of the mid-naughts). Rosemary Boxer, at show's start, is a well-known and beloved academic who specializes in plants and is on romantic "holiday" (the show is British) with a fellow professor. Laura Thyme, a devoted gardener and horticultural perfectionist, is seen - at show's start - leaving her home after he husband left her for a 23-year-old tart (her word, not mine). The two women turn out to be house guests for the same wealthy businessman and an unlikely friendship is borne out of the death of their host. Along the way Rosemary loses her job and Lara discovers she might be okay without her husband, too.

By episode these women - until recently perfect strangers - are business partners in a gardening business specializing in clients about to come in to murder and they share bedrooms everywhere they go (all guest rooms in England, apparently, have two single beds ready to go). They build a fast friendship, they are paid to remake grand, beautiful, historic gardens with nothing more than an old Land Rover and a few hand tools to help them. Every client is either murdered or part of a murder - but no one ever wants to delay the rebuilding of the gardens.

The dialogue is not great. The acting is mediocre. The costumes and sets are wonderful and charming. The storylines are serialistic. The gardens are truly amazing. The tweed and linen is everywhere. There is a fanny pack in most episodes. What's NOT to love?

Get yourself a free weekend and bang out some Rosemary & Thyme. You're welcome.