The story of Anne Blake continues from The Gardener's Daughter. Anne's father has died, and she has been sent by Lord Greville to live with the famous floral artist, Mary Moser, not as a housemaid, but as her student. As Miss Moser discovers her new student's talent and the unfortunate circumstances in her past, she mentors the young woman in both art techniques and etiquette. Once again, Anne finds she is living on the edge of society. The year is 1808, and London is a busy place. A reunion with Lord Greville, the reappearance of the cad, Lord William, and an incident with an apothecary's clerk fortifies her resolve to become a better artist. Anne worries for her future and wishes for a purpose to her life when she hears of a need for a botanical artist and a planned journey to far off America.