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

Camellia japonica ‘Spofforthiae Carnea’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L., ‘Spofforthiae Carnea’, bred by William Herbert, is very similar to ‘Spofforthiae’ but with larger, pink flowers.  [ICR].  

Added on July 02 2009

Indigofera coriacea Ait.

Frost-tender shrub with obovate leaves composed of 5 leaflets and dense heads of red or purple flowers.  To 90cm.  [Don].

Added on December 23 2009

Corylus colurna L.

Hardy, deciduous, pyramidal tree with corky, corrugated bark, ovate, pointed, toothed leaves, and nuts usually in clusters of 3-6.  To 24m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on April 02 2010

Rhododendron ponticum L.

Vigorous, evergreen shrub with lance-shaped leaves, to 18cm long, and trusses of up to 15 broadly funnel-shaped, lilac-pink to reddish-purple flowers, spotted yellowish-green inside, in early summer.  To 8m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers', Don].

Added on June 19 2009

Vitis vinifera ‘Meslier Blanc’

‘No. 13 – Meslier Blanc (302/3 or No. 302 of the third or Montpelier collection). More diminutive in every respect than the preceding [Pineau Blanc], bears very little, but of excellent quality; should not exceed three feet by two feet in a vineyard.’ [Maro p.24/1844].


Added on June 24 2010

Rubus idaeus L. subsp. vulgatus

Deciduous shrub, sometimes prickly, the leaves divided with 3-5 leaflets, toothed, downy underneath, the flowers white in racemes, followed by edible red fruits. To 2m. [RHSD, Hortus]. 


Added on June 04 2010

Pyrus communis ‘Brown Beurré’

‘Brown Beurré’ is identical to ‘Golden Beurré’, which see for details. In the pre-Victorian era it was often considered separately and the synonyms given here have been used specifically for the ‘Brown Beurré’.


Added on May 18 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 - 03:47 PM

Working Bee dates

Working Bee dates for 2012.

Published Jun 29, 2010 - 02:59 PM | Last updated Jan 10, 2012 - 04:19 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 - 01:58 PM | Last updated Jan 09, 2012 - 04:31 PM


Rambles in New Zealand - Part 4

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 - 01:37 PM | Last updated Mar 01, 2012 - 06:01 AM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 2: Climate and Soil

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters I and II deal with climate, site and soil.

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 01, 2010 - 03:26 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:16 AM

Raising Tropaeolum tricolor from seed

If you have tried growing Tropaeolum tricolor from seed you have probably encountered difficulty and obtained a low germination rate.  This was certainly my experience before I took this advice.

Published Jan 01, 2010 - 02:33 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 03:38 PM

A Few Words on Gesneraceous Plants

The family Gesnereaceae was an important contributor to the diversity of the colonial garden of Camden Park, with 97 plants described in the Hortus, mainly from the genera Achimenes and Sinningia. This short article provides a good overview of the history of Gesneriads as garden plants, and some very useful advice on their culture. Unfortunately I have lost the source reference, but the content suggests that it was written for an Australian colonial readership. The article is simply signed L.W.

Published Jun 26, 2010 - 03:01 PM | Last updated Jun 26, 2010 - 03:19 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.