“I’m not dead yet,” writes Clare Hastings to her daughter, Calypso, who will one day inherit Clare’s beloved cottage garden in the Berkshire Downs. “In fact I woke up this morning feeling quite chipper. I glanced out of the window . . . and thought about you. And felt a frisson of panic. What if I were to be struck down before elevenses on the B4009? I realized that I needed to leave you a handbook about the garden. For you the countryside is a pathway from the car park to the door, to be completed on the run. But I’m not giving up.”
The daughter of writer and gardener Anne Scott-James, Clare too was a latecomer to gardening, daunted by Latin names and nervous around plants. Then she realized she wasn’t and never would be a ‘proper plantsman’ and that it didn’t matter. Since then she has explored the joys of gardening and now after many years’ experience of her own cottage garden, Clare shares her gardening life notes with Calypso.