Corcoran Memorial

Iris Garden

The Rt. Rev. W. T. Corcoran Memorial Iris Garden, planted and maintained by Stratford and District Horticultural Society, is in pleasant parkland on McLagan Drive, a quiet street connecting St. Vincent and John Streets. 


Although the garden is in fairly early stages of redevelopment, visitors enjoy many beautiful varieties of Iris, with early, mid-season and later varieties providing an extended sequence of blooms.

Photo: Anu Macintosh-Murray

The garden is named for Father William Tillman Corcoran (1889-1970) who served Stratford’s Immaculate Conception Church for many years.  He was widely known as a hybridizer of gladiolus and iris, and active in The Horticultural Society.

Did You Know?

City of Stratford is an iris chosen by Father Corcoran, and is the city’s official civic bloom.

Photo: Anu Macintosh-Murray

British actress Audrey Hepburn said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow,” which Stratford and District Horticultural Society has adopted as it motto. 


Garden Stratford celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2018 with Believe in Tomorrow as its

celebratory iris.

Photo: Mike Matthews

Early and mid-summer is the best time to enjoy these and many other beautiful irises, but the Father Corcoran Garden is developing as a place to visit after iris season to see attractive plantings of ornamental grasses and sedum.

Photos: Joan Daynard


Stay in the loop and learn about upcoming projects and events, and how to join Garden Stratford (Stratford and District Horticultural Society).

The Stratford and District Horticultural Society 
Celebrating our 141st year in 2019

Funding: Destination Animation Partnership Fund, Stratford and District Horticultural Society

Historical Consultants: Lutzen Riedstra, Dean Robinson, Stratford-Perth Archives

Research, Writing: Doug Reberg

Web Design and Construction: Ryan Carruthers, Jamie Park

Photo Credits: Nancy Burnett, Doris Dodd, Fred Gonder, Mike Matthews. Anu Macintosh-Murray, George McDemott, Dennis Rawe, Doug Reberg, Amanda Ryan, Stratford-Perth Archives, Joan Daynard

Thanks also: Brenda Biggin, Sally Hangeveld (Stratford Public Library), Anita Jacobsen (Head Gardener, Stratford Festival), Quin Malott (Manager, Stratford Parks Forestry and Cemetery), Dan Martin (Manager, Stratford Parks and Forestry, Retired), Tom Robinson, (Shakespearean Gardens), Ann Swardfeger, (Publicity Director, Stratford Festival), Krysta Tomasevic and Colleagues (Perth Health Unit), and the Gardeners of Stratford


Gardens of Stratford is a commemorative project of Stratford and District Horticultural Society, celebrating its 140th year in 2018.

© 2017 Gardens of Stratford, Ontario