Friday, 9 March 2012


I think spring is coming. I can feel it in the air. This weekend will mean plenty of digging on the plot and preparing the soil for seeds which are all sitting patiently waiting to be released from their packets. A love of the earth and nature was also shared by the brilliant Clare Veronica Hope Leighton. Clare was a student at the Slade School of Fine Art in London in 1922 but it was at the Central School where she discovered the joys of wood engraving on Noel Rooke's course. It is as a wood-engraver that Clare is best known. Her work features in many of the books she wrote like ‘Four Hedges’ which is a celebration of her garden written in 1935. Her home was shared with the love of her life the left wing journalist Henry Noel Brailsford who was twenty-five years her senior. Four Hedges which describes her garden over 12 months has just been re-published and really is the most beautiful book. It opens with “Ours is an ordinary garden. It is perched on a slope of the Chiltern Hills, exposed to every wind that blows. Dig into it just one spit, and you reach, as it were, a solid cement foundation. One might be hacking at the white cliffs of Dover.”


  1. The wood engravings are incredibly beautiful. The opening sentence of the book is engaging, I want to read more!

  2. Oh I love the first engraving. And what a wonderful opening paragraph. I sometimes swear our plot has a cement foundation too!

    K x

  3. Dear Len and K thanks for your comments.

    Len as you can see I am back! So lovely of you to still comment after all this time. Much appreciated.