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

Quercus virginiana Mill.

Fully-hardy, small, wide-spreading, evergreen tree with oblong, usually entire leaves, glossy above whitish, hairy beneath.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on February 03 2010

Ixora coccinea L.

Frost-tender, bushy, gently rounded shrub with oblong, glossy, pointed leaves, to 10cm long, and corymb-like cymes, to 12cm across, of red, orange, pink or yellow flowers in summer and autumn.   To 2.5m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on February 08 2010

Rosa ‘Lady Alice Peel’

Hybrid Perpetual.  ‘Lady Alice Peel’ is a dwarf growing rose with deep pink flowers, often delicately veined with carmine.  [Paul (1848, 1863, 1888), Gard. Chron. 1852].


Added on February 12 2010

Knowltonia capensis Huth

Half-hardy cormous perennial with cordate or ovate, usually toothed leaves, and few-flowered umbels of narrow-petalled, daisy-like yellow-green flowers.  [RHSD]. 

Added on January 19 2009

Dianthus caryophyllus Brinkler’s ‘Lady Chesterfield’

For generic information on the garden Carnation and Picotee see Dianthus caryophyllus L. Heavy purple edge picotee.  ‘Among the best of the 1849 season.’  [Gard. Chron. 1849].  ‘A very pretty flower; the edging very light and delicate, the white pure, and shape good.  Its habit is rather delicate, but a most desirable variety in other respects.’  [BF p.220/1844].  The author describes it as a purple-edged, light, and spells the breeder Brinklow.

Added on April 12 2009

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

Ribes speciosum Pursh

Fully hardy, upright, spiny, deciduous shrub with bristly shoots, red when young, ovate, 3- to 5-lobed leaves, to 4cm long, and small pendant racemes of slender, bell-shaped, dark red flowers in spring, followed by spherical, bristly red fruit.  To 2m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on March 27 2010


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


Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 9: Preparation of Wine

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters XVI and XVII describe the manufacture of wine from secondary fermentation to bottling and storage. The illustration used here is Plate 3 from Letters, which illustrates some of the equipment used in the manufacture of wine, described here and in earlier parts.

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 - 09:34 AM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:13 AM

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

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 - 01:57 PM

Camden Park Roses

Roses were very important to the Camden Park gardens, 297 are listed in the Hortus, substantially more than the next largest genus, Camellia with 140 plants.  This brief review summarises the major types of rose grown and discusses the change in profile of roses over the decades from 1843 to 1861. 

Published Feb 13, 2010 - 02:27 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 11:02 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.