What is a Coronary Garden

What is a Coronary Garden


A Coronary Garden was more popular in late Victorian times but as I discovered it goes back beyond the 17th century.
Coronary gardens were  used to grow flowers that could be used for wreaths and garlands and take their name Coronary from the word crown not the health problem.

The modern day equivalent is probably the florist shop or stall located at Crematoria

This photograph is not a true Coronary garden but a memorial garden in front of the cenotaph at Otley.

Tips for the Coronary Garden (1686)

  • Do not separate off sets from Tulips until they are quite dry.
  • Cotton Lavender makes a foot high hedge or border if kept well clipped.
  • A layer of stable litter under the soil that is planted with Tulips, Anemonies and Ranunculus will help them thrive. They my survive without lifting.
  • To grow Stock Gillyflowers chose a plant with excellent double flowers. Make it beare one branch of flowers and collect the seed. Sow in February in the hot bed and transplant in Michaelmas (September).

Note about Stock Gillyflower. – I originally took it to mean Carnation or Pinks of the Dianthus family but other plant dictionaries include stocks like Matthiola incana, or say stock gillyflower is the Cheiranthus; the queen’s gillyflower is the Hesperis or even any of several Old World plants cultivated for their brightly colored flowers.

Wordswarmnet Dictionary for Stock Gilly Flower

Plants for the Coronary Garden

  • Lilies in red, white, Crown Imperial or Persian.
  • Tulips, Crocus, Narcissus or Anemonie for spring
  • Snap dragons, Sweet Williams and Gladiolus
  • Iris and Fritillaries.
  • Daisies, Pansies and Violets
  • Various annuals or exotics like Amaranthus and Heliotrop.

The tips and flower selection have been taken from ‘ Directions for The Gardiner at Says- Court in 1686’. They were published in a wider more embracing form in ‘Directions for the Gardiner and Other Horticultural Advice’ by John Evelyn the diarist and OUP available via Amazon

The original manuscript was first transcribed in 1932 by Sir Geoffrey Keynes

Book Cover

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