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Boris redux

Or: an epilogue to the drama

Last time I wrote about Boris and the rosemary, I concluded that he was a has-been and she merited rehabilitation. I no longer referred to them as one and the same. This was in late June, in Rehabilitating the rosemary

You may remember that Rosemarinus officinalis had a habit of growing out of control, dominating one corner of the garden and overpowering lesser flora by sheer, towering ambition.

By the end of June, we had come to an accommodation of sorts. The Boris genie was back in his box, as it were, and the rosemary had command of her plot. In fact, I felt I owed her some respect.

A further drastic reshaping of the herb in September seemed to do the trick nicely. Afterwards, rosemary kept her shape, flowered generously, attracted bees and other pollinators, and produced richly scented shoots full of essential oil. In short, she did everything a herb is supposed to do.

But: Cave Rosmarinum! Beware of jumping to conclusions, say I (not an exact translation).

Come October, the Boris inside the bush broke out once again… Absolutely irrepressible, the unkempt giant of the corner with the thatch going every which way made a storming comeback. Thus was Elizabeth David’s warning shown to be true: “A treacherous herb”, said she.

With inexhaustible energy and a blindness to the inappropriateness of taking over the whole plot, the herb is once more occupying more than a fair share of space and light. I do believe she/he is larger than ever, robust in the extreme and impervious to everything around – even to the presence of a superb lemon/orange tree with the strength of continents in its genetic heritage.

So this may not be an epilogue. It may be only the second act in a very long and unnerving soap opera: eerie in the extreme.

Parallel universe: On the cover of the British satirical magazine “Private Eye” last summer: Theresa May curtseying to HM Queen Elizabeth II. HM: “How low can you go?” May: “Well, I’ve appointed Boris as Foreign Minister.”

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