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

Oxalis obtusa Jacq.

Bulbous perennial which grows to about 15cm and bears copper-coloured flowers.  ‘The leaves are cordate, shorter than the peduncle, which has two small linear bractes, about an inch below the flower.  The outer edges of the segments are of a deeper colour, which gives the bud a very pleasing appearance.  Several flowers are produced in succession from a single bulb, lasting a good while, but require sunshine and warmth to open them.’  [LBC no.824/1824].

Added on January 28 2010

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

Fuchsia ‘Dr Jephson’

‘Sepals of a clear snowy white, corolla a rich deep rose, habit of Willmoreana, and a profuse bloomer.’  [GC p.281/1846].

Added on August 14 2009

Rosa ‘Red Moss’

The flowers of the ‘Red Moss Rose’ are semi-double, middle-sized and pale red or deep pink in colour.  [Gore, Rivers (1854), Paul (1848, 1888)].

 

Added on February 10 2010

Malus domestica ‘Blenheim Orange’

‘Fruit large, roundish, of a yellowish colour, tinged with red next the sun; pulp sweet and high flavoured: ripe in November, and keeps till March: a very superior dessert apple.’ [FCM p.42/1843].

 

Added on April 16 2010

Passiflora serrulata Jacq.

Tender climber with entire leaves and white. purple-banded flowers.  [American Species of Passiflora, Fieldiana, Botanical Series, Vol.XIX, pt.2,  p.357/1938].

Added on January 31 2010

Athrotaxis selaginoides D.Don

Athrotaxus is a genus of two species of Tasmanian conifers although a number of hybrids were given specific status in the early literature.  Athrotaxis selaginoides D.Don is usually a small to medium tree, although the largest of the genus.  Leaves pointed, to 12mm long with glaucous bands above.  To 30m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers', APNI].

Added on July 29 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

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 6: The Vintage

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters IX, X and XI deal with the vintage, including the theory and practice of fermentation and preparation for winemaking. The process of winemaking is dealt with in more detail in subsequent letters. The illustration used here is a wine label from the 1852 Muscat vintage. Follow this link to further examples of wine labels from this period.

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 15, 2010 - 03:53 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:15 AM

Florists’ flowers

Floristry, in the 17th, 18th and 19th century meaning of the word, the growing and improvement of flowering plants for the sake of their beauty alone, has a long history in China and Asia but is of relatively recent origin in Europe.  From quite humble beginnings, the small scale leisure activity of artisans and labourers, it attracted the attention of the owners of the great pleasure gardens and botanic gardens of Europe.  Specialised nurseries began to appear to service great and small gardens, providing a means of disseminating the beautiful new varieties which the nurseries were both breeding and obtaining from enthusiastic amateurs.

Published Mar 12, 2010 - 03:41 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 05:30 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

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 - 08:45 AM | Last updated Feb 29, 2012 - 03:08 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.