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

Erica coccinea L.

A rigid, stoutly branched, bushy shrub, the hanging tubular flowers produced in threes on the ends of short side branches. The flower-bearing side branches are closely packed towards the tips of the upright main branches, giving the effect of a spike-like inflorescence. The anthers are yellow-brown and protrude far from the flower tube. This is a variable species throughout its range. To 1.2m. [].


Added on August 31 2011

Clematis viticella campaniflora [Macarthur]

Clematis viticella L. x Clematis campaniflora Brot., a hybrid probably raised at Camden.  I have found no specific description of this hybrid.

Added on March 05 2010

Comptonia peregrina (L.) Coulter

Fragrant, suckering, deciduous shrub with deeply cut, fern-like pinnate leaves, male catkins and globular female flowers, followed by small ovoid fruits.  To 1.2m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Added on April 02 2010

Gladiolus (blandus x cuspidatus) x ‘Aurora’

Three or four way hybrid, (Gladiolus carneus x Gladiolus cuspidatus) x Gladiolus ‘Aurora’.  ‘Aurora’ is presumably a named hybrid not elsewhere described.  No description is extant.

Added on October 23 2009

Rosa ‘Devoniensis’

Tea rose.  ‘We have lately received from Messrs. Lucombe, Pince, and Co. of Exeter, specimens of a new rose, by them called ‘Rosa Devoniensis’.  The Flowers which we received were finely formed, very double, much above the average size; and it is evident that the plant has a vigorous and excellent habit.  We also found it deliciously fragrant; the colour is a clear, delicate, primrose yellow, with a somewhat deeper centre.  The flowers, though large and double, had expanded freely, without any imperfection or hard green eye.’  [Gard. Chron. 1841].  

Added on February 12 2010

Oenothera speciosa Nutt.

Fully hardy, sometimes invasive perennial, spreading by runners, with solitary, saucer-shaped, very fragrant white flowers, sometimes aging to pink, in summer and autumn.  To 30cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on October 13 2009

Indigofera species from Cashmere

An unidentified species.

Added on December 23 2009


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


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

Thomas Harris (1885-1948)

Thomas Harris, born in Worcestershire in 1885, was a gardener at Camden Park from 1913 to 1938.

Published Aug 16, 2012 - 11:09 AM | Last updated Mar 16, 2015 - 02:12 PM

The Family Amaryllidaceae at Camden Park

Amaryllidaceae was a very significant family of plants in the history of the Camden Park gardens.  The following Essay provides a little background to these important plants.

Published Jan 01, 2010 - 05:11 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 02:54 PM

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

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.