Christopher Lloyd was the grand old man of British gardening and gardening writers. From 1989 until 2006 - when he died aged 84 - he produced his Guardian column from his beloved house and garden, Great Dixter in East Sussex. His knowledge as a plantsman was prodigious, yet he wrote in an easy, direct and vigorous manner, advising, entertaining and cajoling his readers as he guided them through the gardening year.
Nothing was too small for his sharply observant eye and his impish disregard for received opinion or fashion - 'that awful phrase, good taste' - endeared him to his readers, and emboldened many to take up his constant challenge to experiment.
Preparing the ground, planting for summer scent, choosing a shrub for all-year round pleasure, pruning, going organic, cottage gardens, placing a favourite hellebore, thinking about conifers or growing your own veg - all fell within his purview. And, in everything he wrote, he transmitted his huge appetite and enthusiasm for the pleasure that a garden brings.