Sir Francis Ronalds and his Family

Lily Agnes Ronalds

Lily (right) advising a student at Emily MacPherson College. State Library of Victoria

Alfred Ronalds' granddaughter Lily (1892-1981) was aged five when her father Nathaniel died. She grew up at his nursery and was introduced to the horticulture and flower-arranging business by her mother Agnes. Lily and her younger sister Ivy set up first as Kay's Florist, with Agnes supplying cut flowers to their two shops in the heart of Melbourne's business district. Lily then established Lindsay's Florist in 1928. She was the ships' florist for the Orient Line where she at times needed to make decorations for 60 tables in an hour.

For 15 years she was on the staff at the Emily MacPherson College, and she also taught floral art at Burnley School of Horticulture, the Dookie Agricultural College near Shepparton, and at other education establishments.

Just like her father, Lily was "small and volatile" and always as "Busy as a bee" as she "enthusiastically" pursued her profession. She was well known for her winter arrangements featuring "Berries and fruits", "pods and nuts collected in the bush", and pine cones "varnished with colored lacquer", and they adorned the Christmas tables of many of her friends and family. She also enjoyed overseas travel.

Her passion was epitomised in her death notice as "A lifetime spent with flowers".

Further Information

Newspaper article describing Lily's floral art teaching

The Ronalds Family of Australia (1985) by A F Ronalds

Nathaniel Ronalds: Nurseryman and Florist (2020) - published by the Australian Garden History Society

Ronalds Nurserymen in Brentford and Beyond (2017) - published by the Gardens Trust