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.
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 has led to ongoing research into Buxton’s gardens.
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.