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

Gladiolus ‘Isabella’

Camden Park hybrid.  (Gladiolus carneus x G. colvilli) x Gladiolus x colvilli hybridBidwill described it to Edward Macarthur Bowman: ‘The only other one we named is a very singular Blandus-colvilli, tall and strong its flowers will [word indistinct, probably look] almost exactly like Blandus (most of this cross are dark) except that it has a bright red spot in the lower petals.  This we have called Isabella.  There are a great many others but they are not sufficiently distinct to name.’  [MP A4297 p.23].

Added on October 20 2009

Premna integrifolia L.

Tree with ovate leaves. sometimes toothed, to 8cm long. and loose panicles of strongly scented greenish-white flowers in spring.  To 3.5m.  [RHSD].

Added on July 10 2009

Potentilla species unidentified [3]

Unidentified plants.  Many species and hybrids were figured in the botanical and horticultural journals of the day.

Added on October 06 2009

Campsis radicans (L.) Seem.

Frost hardy, vigorous climber, usually climbing by aerial roots, with leaves to 10cm long composed of 7-11 toothed, ovate leaflets, and terminal cymes of 4-12 slender, tubular-trumpet-shaped orange to red flowers in summer and autumn.  To 10m.  [RHSE, Hilliers', Hortus].

Added on February 25 2010

Dianthus caryophyllus Sharpe’s ‘Invincible’

For generic information on the garden Carnation and Picotee see Dianthus caryophyllus L.  Sharpe’s ‘Invincible’ is a ‘light-edged purple, petals well formed, white good, and edging regular.’  [Gard. Chron. 1842].  ‘Pod good; petals well formed; ground pure; edging pretty regular.’  [FC p.79/1949].  ‘Another ex. ex. flower, with more stuff than the last named [‘Nulli secundus’] though perhaps not quite equalling it in other respects, still a desirable variety.’  [BF p.220/1844].

Added on April 12 2009

Hemerocallis fulva L.

Fully-hardy, semi-evergreen, rhizomatous perennial with trumpet-shaped orange-brown flowers in summer.  To 1m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on January 07 2010

Gelasine elongata (Graham) Ravenna

Cormous perennial with lance-shaped basal leaves, to 60cm long, the flower stems bearing a terminal cluster of few, cup-shaped, bright blue flowers with a white blotch at the base.  [RHSD].  

Added on October 20 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


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

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

Letters on the Culture of the Vine. Part 1: Introduction

‘Letters’ is an important book in the history of wine production in Australia and this is, I believe, the first time that the full text has been made available outside the major libraries. The value of William Macarthur’s book compared with earlier Colonial publications is that it is written from the perspective of over twenty years of experience of growing grapes and making wine in New South Wales. He does include theory from the pens of European authorities but the bulk of the book is written from personal experience. He is in effect saying ‘this is what we have found to work here’.

‘Letters’ is reproduced in 10 parts, beginning with the Introduction, which provides information on the history of the book and gives a synopsis of early experiences of vine importation and wine production.

Published Aug 27, 2010 - 05:50 PM | Last updated Nov 24, 2011 - 02:57 PM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 3: Grape Varieties and Diseases

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters III and IV deal with grape varieties found suitable for New South Wales, and diseases of the vine.

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 - 05:24 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:16 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.