Harry “Pete” Goulding developed several new varieties of hibiscus plants by cross breeding and utilizing special pollination techniques. Mr. Goulding also raised vegetables in his backyard garden on Retta Esplanade using hydroponic methods.
J.C. Galloway spent most of his life as a nurseryman, retiring to Punta Gorda from Pennsylvania. He continued operating a small nursery here but devoted more time as an environmentalist working with indigenous wildlife. His collection of species eventually became part of the Florida Adventure Museum in Punta Gorda which was located at 260 W. Retta Esplanade.
Original Mural: The original mural was completed in 1999 and depicted the harmony of nature, focusing on the contributions of these two important Punta Gorda residents. Portraits of the two men, Harry Goulding and J.C. Galloway were part of the sunset clouds. The big red hibiscus in this mural is a tribute to Goulding’s work with local plant life, particularly the “lipstick red” hibiscus. The original mural was destroyed by Hurricane “Charley” on August 13, 2004.
Recreation: In recreating this mural, the artist replaced Mr. Galloway with Phil Laishley. Mr. Laishley moved to Punta Gorda in the early 1950’s. He was on the City Council for 12 years and served as Mayor for 6 years. He worked tirelessly to ensure that Punta Gorda became a waterfront community with a city yacht basin. The recreation of this mural was dedicated on May 17, 2007.