Notice

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

Begonia fischeri Schrank

Frost-tender, shrub-like perennial with a woody stem, small, smooth leaves, crimson beneath, and very small, bright pink flowers, usually in threes, in spring.  A number of cultivars are available.  To 90cm. [Krempin].  This is the plant referred to B. fischeri in Australia today. 

Added on January 16 2009

Acer saccharum subsp. nigrum (F.Michx.) Desmarais

Large tree with deeply furrowed black bark and 3-lobed leaves.  To 40m.  [RHSD, Hortus]. Distinguished from the Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum Marsh which see, by the 5-lobed leaves of the latter.

Added on February 19 2009

Fritillaria latifolia Willd.

Bulbous perennial with lance-shaped leaves, a stem to 30cm and usually single, bowl-shaped, pendant flowers, variable in colour but usually purplish with a darker chequered pattern.  [RHSD].

Added on January 10 2010

Grevillea robusta A.Cunn. ex R.Br.

Frost tender, fast-growing upright to conical tree with fern-like leaves, to 30cm long, deeply pinnate, paler, with silky hairs beneath, and erect, one-sided racemes of golden yellow flowers, to 15cm long, in spring and summer.  To 35m.  [RHSE, Hortus, FNSW, Olde & Marriott].

Added on March 17 2009

Dianthus caryophyllus ‘Purity Clove’

For generic information on the garden Carnation and Picotee see Dianthus caryophyllus L. I have found no description of ‘Purity Clove’.

Added on April 12 2009

Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.

North eastern North America

Fully-hardy, evergreen conical tree with smooth grey bark, leaves, to 2.5cm long, arranged in a V-shape on the shoots, and purplish blue cones, to 8cm long.  To 15m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on July 12 2009

Gladiolus cuspidatus (x colvilli)

Gladiolus cuspidatus x Gladiolus x colvilli hybrid.  No description is extant.

Added on October 22 2009

News

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

Essays

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

The Fuchsias of Camden Park

The first fuchsia introduced to English gardens in 1788 was a variety of Fuchsia magellanica Lam.  This new plant soon attracted the attention of florists and, stimulated by the regular introduction of new species and varieties from South America, selection and hybridisation saw a rapidly increasing number of named varieties available through the nurseries.  The first record of a fuchsia at Camden Park is Fuchsia conica, which arrived on board the ‘Sovereign’ in February 1831.  By 1857 fifty-eight species, cultivars and hybrids had been recorded as growing in the gardens.

Published Mar 14, 2010 - 10:50 AM | Last updated Jun 24, 2011 - 02:45 PM

Some Account of the Vineyards at Camden

The vineyards of Camden Park are widely considered to be the first commercial vineyards in Australia. James and William Macarthur were certainly not the first to sell wine for profit or the first to export wine but were pioneers in the development of vineyards intended to produce a profit from the sale of quality wine. Prior to this wine was produced from small vineyards planted primarily for home consumption, with excess sold and sometimes exported.

The first vineyard was small, only one acre in extent, and largely experimental, but the second and third were on a much grander scale. As the closing words of this pamphlet demonstrate, James and William certainly had a vision of what was possible for Australian wine production, as they had previously for fine Merino wool.

‘Whether these Colonies can also hope to provide for the benefit of every class here at home, and at an equally moderate rate another exportable product, remains yet to be seen — so that even the tired artizan, in his hours of relaxation from toil, may not unseldom exclaim, “Go Fetch me a quart of (Australian) Sack.” ’

This short pamphlet outlining the Camden vineyards was produced to accompany samples of wine to the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1851.

Published Jan 10, 2011 - 04:54 PM | Last updated Jan 10, 2011 - 05:07 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

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

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.