Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Camden Park House from the East Lawn. Photography by Leigh Youdale

Selected plants in the Hortus

Fragaria x ananassa ‘Old Pine’

A cultivar of Fragaria x ananassa Duchesne. ‘Fruit large, slightly hairy, with a neck of an uniform bright scarlet, ovate-conical, occasionally compressed, and when luxuriant the early fruits are cockscomb-shaped. Seeds slightly embedded. Flesh pale scarlet, rich, and juicy, with a very grateful flavour.’ [George Lindley – Orchard Guide p.486/1831].



Added on June 06 2010

Orphium frutescens L. var. grandiflora

For a description of the species see Orphium frutescens L.  Grandiflora is probably identical to frutescens but may be a form with larger flowers.  In Prodromus Stirpium in Horto ad Chapel Allerton vigentium [p.137] Salisbury gives Chironia grandiflora as a synonym of Chironia frutescens L. without further elucidation.

Added on March 06 2009

Parkinsonia aculeata L.

Frost-tender, small, spreading, often weeping, deciduous tree with spiny green stems, slender, 2-pinnate leaves with many tiny leaflets which fold up at night, and racemes of 2-15 cup-shaped, sweetly scented bright yellow flowers with orange markings and stamens, to 2cm across, in spring.  To 10m.  In dry, frost-free areas it is suitable for hedging and screening, its light, open structure allowing turf and other plants to thrive in its shade.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on December 24 2009

Muscari comosum (L.) Mill.

Frost-hardy bulbous perennial with spreading leaves and tassels of violet flowers in spring.  To 60cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on January 07 2010

Rosa ‘Madame Hardy’

Damask rose.  It has nodding, fragrant, pure white flowers, occasionally pink-tinged, and a lax habit.  Its full, quartered flowers suggest that it may be a Centifolia hybrid, and Les Plus Belles Roses au début du XXe Siécle suggests that it is a hybrid of Rosa clinophylla.  [Paul (1848, 1863, 1888, 1903), Amat].



Added on February 12 2010

Calothamnus species unidentified

Genus of 24 species found in Western Australia.  They are bushy, evergreen shrubs, from 1m to 3m in height, with crowded, narrow leaves, often hairy, and are usually found in dry scrub and open forest. Their characteristic flowers, somewhat resembling a one-sided bottle brush, are usually red, sometimes cream.  Common names include ‘Net bush’ and ‘One-sided bottle brush’.  [RHSE, Blomberry]. 

Added on January 17 2010

Ficus carica ‘Brown from Provence’

A cultivar of Ficus carica L. There are a number of figs describe as brown, usually with a specific epithet such as ‘Naples’ or ‘Malta’, but not ‘Provence’, ‘Marseille’ or similar as far as I can ascertain.

Added on April 24 2010


Improvements to Hortus Camdenensis

The Hortus software has been upgraded. This led to some minor errors in the layout of plant names, particularly in the headings of Plant Profile pages but these have now been largely overcome. Improvements are also progressively being made to the content of the Hortus in three main areas, botanical and horticultural history, cross referencing and illustrations. Some enhancements will be done as the opportunity arises but most will be completed family by family. This will take at least two years to complete.



Published Sep 14, 2010 - 04:06 PM | Last updated Aug 12, 2012 - 04:36 PM

Sir William Macarthur on Vines and Vineyards

Sir William Macarthur wrote extensively on vines and Vineyards. It is our intention to publish all his writings in the Hortus.

Published Aug 01, 2010 - 04:58 PM | Last updated Oct 04, 2010 - 04:47 PM

Working Bee dates

Working Bee dates for 2012.


Published Jun 29, 2010 - 02:59 PM | Last updated Jan 10, 2012 - 05:19 PM

Open House and Gardens

Camden Park House and Gardens will be open to the public on Saturday 22nd September, 2012, from 12.00 noon until 4.00 pm, and Sunday 23rd from 10.00 am until 4.00 pm.


Published Dec 30, 2009 - 02:58 PM | Last updated Jan 09, 2012 - 05:31 PM


Rambles in New Zealand - Part 2

Rambles in New Zealand is the only published work of John Carne Bidwill of any length and an important document in the early colonial history of that country.
It is included in the Hortus for a number of reasons but mainly because, together with his letters to The Gardeners’ Chronicle, it completes the known published works of Bidwill. His importance in the history of the Camden Park gardens and the lack of any substantive treatment of his life and achievements make it appropriate to include all his published work here.
Rambles is published here in four parts:
Part 1 – dedication, Preface, pages 1-29
Part 2 – pages 30-59
Part 3 – pages 60-89
Part 4 – pages 90 -93, List of Subscribers


Published Feb 29, 2012 - 12:18 PM | Last updated Mar 01, 2012 - 07:02 AM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 6: The Vintage

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters IX, X and XI deal with the vintage, including the theory and practice of fermentation and preparation for winemaking. The process of winemaking is dealt with in more detail in subsequent letters. The illustration used here is a wine label from the 1852 Muscat vintage. Follow this link to further examples of wine labels from this period.

The entire book is reproduced in the Hortus in ten parts. For background information and Macarthur’s Introduction to the book see Part 1.

Published Sep 15, 2010 - 03:53 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:15 AM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 10: The Wine Cellar

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letter XVIII, the final letter, describes the construction and operation of a wine cellar. Although Macarthur writes ‘I have not had so much experience practically in the construction of this description of buildings, as with the majority of the details, upon which, I have endeavoured to communicate information’ it seems likely that the building he describes in such detail is modeled on the Wine House at Camden Park, the remains of which survive. Indeed, in discussing the perfect site, he also writes that ‘such in fact is the description of site adopted at Camden’. The illustration used here is a photograph of the ruins of the Camden Park Wine House showing the brick and sandstone vats built in the cellar of this building 170 years ago. These are ‘of two sizes, which contain respectively, 900 and 1,700 gallons; and we use them, as well to ferment in, as to store the wine in afterwards.’ So well built were these vats that William Macarthur asserted ‘they will probably endure without repairs for generations’. He was certainly correct in this as, although they have not been used for more than 100 years and have been open to the elements for much of this time, three of these vats are still in good repair today. The other two are partly collapsed. In this final letter Macarthur also describes the construction of brick wine bins such as are to be seen in the cellars at Camden Park house. A photograph on one of these bins is given in Part 9.

The entire book is reproduced in the Hortus in ten parts. For background information and Macarthur’s Introduction to the book see Part 1.



Published Oct 03, 2010 - 03:00 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:10 AM

Camden Park Nursery Group

We are a small voluntary group helping to maintain and preserve the historic Camden Park gardens. There are regular meeting days, currently Tuesday and Saturday but this can be varied, but most members contribute through Working Bees held typically every third Sunday.

Published Jun 27, 2010 - 04:16 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 04:32 PM

About the Hortus

The Hortus attempts to correctly identify, describe, illustrate and provide a brief history of all the plants grown at Camden Park between c.1820 and 1861.

Plants in the Hortus

The Hortus plants served a wide range of purposes: ornament, living fences, fibre, dyestuffs, medicine, food from the garden and orchard, and many others.

Plant Families

Plants in the Hortus are grouped by Family, perhaps the most useful of the higher order classifications.


Essays enhance the Hortus by providing a level of detail about the gardens, people, and plants that would be inappropriate for an individual plant profile.

Hortus News

News provides an opportunity for people interested in the gardens to keep in touch with the work being done to maintain and reinvigorate the gardens and receive advance notice of events such as Open Garden days.