I am so shocked and sad to hear that Elspeth Thompson, the marvellous gardening writer, has died. She was a real inspiration to me, my ‘horti-guru’, not only for her work – the books about growing plants in inner-city London and her elegantly observed blog about turning railways carriages into a house on the south coast – but for her kindness and the graciousness with which she approached life. As fellow Sunday Telegraph columnists we would meet at gardening events and email each other with tips and garden gossip – from chewing over the identity of the mysterious blogger Garden Monkey to laughing about the £2 potted carrot we saw for sale at a prestigious London nursery. I will always remember her kindness, encouragement and generosity, her elegant prose and her ability to make you see beauty even in the most ordinary places. My thoughts are with her husband and young daughter at this awful time.