Elspeth Thompson, the much-loved gardening and interiors writer for "The Sunday Telegraph" who has died aged 48, had a particular talent for bringing beauty to the places where she lived, no matter how unpromising those places first appeared.
She enjoyed travel, golf at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, Va., and the Chartwell Country Club near her home in Severna Park, she was a proficient bridge player, and fully capable of completing the New York Times crossword puzzles in ink.
She had an active and happy social life during her youth from which she would recall stories of picture-show dates at the Rivoli or the Opera House Theater, parties at the Rutgers fraternity houses, sodas at the Roger Smith Hotel, and canoe rides on Farrington Lake.
She was an avid reader and if you ever noticed a tiny pencil mark on the first few pages of a library book from the Hudson Library, that meant she had read that one. Rita was a lover of nature and enjoyed feeding "her" duck, Dovey. To Rita, expiration dates on food packages were only a suggestion. She loved to shop, and would hit the clearance rack at JC Penney with a vengeance. There was never a piece of chocolate or dessert she didn't like and she truly believed there was always room for ice cream.