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

Chaenomeles speciosa (Sweet) Nak. var. japonica

A vigorous, wide-spreading shrub with tangled, spiny branches and glossy, oval leaves, to 9cm, and clusters of up to 4 scarlet to crimson flowers, to 4.5cm across, in spring, followed by aromatic, yellow-green fruit, to 6cm long.  To 2.5m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers']. 

Added on February 05 2010

Rhododendron arboreum Sm. Var. album

A white flowered form of Rhododendron arboreum.  [Hilliers'].  See Rhododendron arboreum Sm. for more detail.

Added on June 18 2009

Dianthus caryophyllus Brabbins’ ‘Squire Meynell’

For generic information on the garden carnation see Dianthus caryophyllus L.  Brabbins’ ‘Squire Meynell’ is a purple flake carnation.  ‘One of the best we have; the flower is large, pod good, form and colour excellent.’ [Gard. Chron. 1843].

Added on April 08 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

Hibiscus splendens Fras. ex Graham

Frost-hardy, rounded, open shrub with usually lobed leaves and pink flowers, to 12cm across.  To 6m.  [Wrigley, FNSW, Don].

Added on January 13 2010

Dendrobium aemulum R.Br.

Epiphytic orchid with short pseudobulbs, to 15cm long, 2-4 leaves, to 7cm long, at the apex of each pseudobulb, and racemes, to 10cm long, of many spidery, white to pink flowers in late winter to spring.  To 30cm.  [RHSD, Jones, FNSW, Beadle].

Added on January 24 2010

Mandevilla laxa (Ruiz. & Pav.) Woodson

Frost-tender, vigorous, freely branching, woody-stemmed, twining climber with pointed oblong leaves, to 10cm long, and racemes of 5-15 tubular, strongly fragrant, white flowers, to 9cm across, in summer and autumn.  To 5m.  [RHSE, Hilliers’].

Added on May 29 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 - 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 1

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 - 07:45 AM | Last updated Feb 29, 2012 - 02:08 PM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 5: Management and Replenishment of the Vineyard

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters VII and VIII deal with the management of the vineyard after planting, the use of manures and the replenishment of an exhausted vineyard. The illustration used here is Macarthur’s Plate 2, a section of a vineyard. This is referred to in detail in Part 4, however it does illustrate the method of vine culture recommended and described here, the dwarf-standard method which at this time was practiced mostly in the north of France.

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 09, 2010 - 05:49 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:15 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

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 7: The Vintage (Continued)

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters IX, X and XI, reproduced in Part 6, dealt with the vintage, including the theory and practice of fermentation and preparation for winemaking. The vintage is continued in Part 7, letters XII and XIII giving a description of grape harvesting and crushing. The illustration used here is an excellent lithograph showing the grape harvest at the third vineyard at Camden Park in 1878.

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 24, 2010 - 05:07 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:14 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.