Clifford, Derek Plint 1915-2003
CLIFFORD, Derek Plint 1915-2003
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born September 1, 1915, in Gillingham, England; died November 25, 2003. Author. Clifford began as a published poet and progressed toward writing on a wide range of subjects ranging from horticulture to art and antiques. Not long after completing his undergraduate work in 1937 at King's College, Cambridge, he enlisted in the Royal West Kent Regiment, serving mostly as a guard manning an antiaircraft gun on the White Cliffs of Dover; eventually becoming a captain, he spent his final year of the war in India, where he became interested in the flora of the region. Returning home, he completed a master's degree in 1945. By this time, Clifford had already published the poetry collection Mad Pelynt and the Bullet (1939), and he soon completed his novel The Perracotts (1947). The postwar years saw Clifford buying a nursery, where he became a specialist in pelargoniums and began writing books on horticulture and gardening, including Pelargoniums, including the Popular Geranium (1958; 2nd edition, 1970) and A History of Garden Design (1962). He later ran the Caledonian Nursery and won prizes for his plants, was founding chair of the Geranium Society, and developed a new interest in raising mushrooms. Clifford, who had painted as a hobby for many years, was also an avid collector of paintings, sculptures, figurines, jewelry, and a variety of antiques, becoming an expert on many related subjects. His later books consequently reflect this interest and include such publications as Art and Understanding: Towards a Humanist Aesthetic (1968), Collecting English Watercolors (1970; 2nd edition, 1976), and Chinese Carved Lacquer (1992). He was also the author of To Catch a Fox (1982) and The Affair of the Forest (1982).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Times (London, England), December 17, 2003, p. 31.