Lillian H. Cary, 76, a gardener who showed, arranged and judged flowers in the Washington area for many years, died Feb. 15 following a heart attack at the Washington House retirement home in Alexandria, where she had lived for the past two years.

Mrs. Cary, who spent her sarlier years in the teaching and nursing professions, was a life-member of the Council of Accredited Flower Show Judges. She also was a member of the Potomac unit of the Herb Society of America, the Neigborhood Garden Club of Arlington and the Potomac Rose Society.

Growing herbs and roses was her particular interest. She exhibited at serveral major shows in this area in the 1950s and also won several prizes for flower arrangements.

She was born in Oatlands, Va, She earned a teaching certificate at the College of William and Mary and taught briefly before coming to Washington in the 1920s. She became a registered nurse at the old Emergency Hospital here and later earned a degree in public health nursing at Peabody College in Nashville, Tenn. During World War II, she was executive director of the Instructive Visiting Nurse Society.

In 1946, when her husband, Hugh W. Cary, returned from the war, she retired. Mr. Cary, a buyer in the men's department of the Woodward/ Lothrop department store, died in 1976.

There are no immediate survivors.