Sir Francis Ronalds and his Family

Henrietta Maria Gulliver née Shanklin

Henrietta's painting of "The Hawthorn Path" at her Cheltenham property (1909). State Library of Victoria

Henrietta's still life "The Glory of the Garden, Spring" from her solo exhibition in Melbourne (1925)

Alfred Ronalds' artistic granddaughter Henrietta (1866-1945) was a painter, florist, horticulturalist and landscape designer. After working for a number of years at her Uncle Nathaniel's nursery in Melbourne, she established her own florist business, the Central Floral Studio, in Collins Street in the city and was "appointed florists and table decorators to His Excellency" the Governor of Victoria.

Her husband George Ekins Gulliver (1855-1929) was a successful and wealthy pharmacist with a series of shops. In 1910 he began manufacturing the drug "Laxettes" that he had developed for constipation. Ownership of the company remained in the family until late in the 20th century and the famous brand is still sold today.

After their marriage, Henrietta was able to broaden her interests. She laid out beautiful garden estates in Sassafras (called Panteg) and Cheltenham (Holmby Lodge); Holmby Lodge is now the Southland shopping centre but Panteg survives. The flower studies and landscapes she painted at her homes brought her new renown as an artist and she was one of the founding members of the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society. Henrietta, George, and their daughters also lived at Old Mead, a Tudor house in Capel, Surrey, for some years when they were in Britain.

Further Information

Exploring Henrietta Gulliver’s Gardens through her Art (2022)
- published by the Australian Garden History Society

Newspaper article on Henrietta's solo art exhibition (1925)

One of Henrietta's artworks of Ducks, probably painted in England (c.1923). State Library of Victoria

Henrietta Maria Gulliver's entry in Wikipedia