Clare studied history at the University of Otago and Victoria University of Wellington. She was awarded the Bowen Prize and the Zander and Dryden Families Prize for History by Victoria University of Wellington for her Ph D thesis.
Clare has had articles on garden history published in New Zealand Gardener, New Zealand Listener, Journal of New Zealand Studies, The Gardener’s Journal, Historic Gardens Review, Australian Garden History Society Journal and Script & Print: Journal of the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand.
In 2020 Clare was awarded the Pratt Family Scholarship by Heritage Roses New Zealand Inc to undertake research into garden designer Alfred Buxton’s use of roses. This led to further research and she has recently completed a book on women and Buxton’s gardens which is due to be published next year.