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

Spiloxene capensis (L.) Garside

Half-hardy cormous perennial with erect, narrow, linear basal leaves and, in spring, solitary, upward-facing, white or yellow flowers, with bright purple or green basal spots.  To 20cm.  [RHSE, Hortus, CECB]. 

Added on January 19 2009

Crinum scabro-Macleayi no.10

A Crinum zeylanicum L. x Crinum Macleayi hybrid.  The latter is unidentified but is probably a form of one of the native Australian species, Crinum flaccidum Herb. or Crinum pedunculatum R.Br.

In 1845 and 1846 William Macarthur described ten Crinum scabro-macleayii hybrids in his gardening notebooks.  [MP A2948 Notebook no.4, p.4].

No. 10.  Slender, handsome, pale pink stripe, purplish outside.

Added on May 05 2009

Juniperus species unidentified

Unidentified species, no description.

Added on August 03 2009

Dianthus caryophyllus Sharpe’s ‘L’Elegant’

For generic information on the garden Carnation and Picotee see Dianthus caryophyllus L.  Sharpe’s ‘L’Elegant’ is a purple edged, light picotee.  Awarded a prize at the Slough Carnation and Picotee Show, 1847.  [Gard. Chron. 1847].

Added on April 12 2009

Calycanthus floridus L.

Fully hardy, bushy, spreading shrub with oval or oblong leaves to 12cm, and fragrant, dark red flowers, 5cm across and resembling a tiny water-lily with numerous strap-shaped petals, in summer.  To 2.5m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on March 02 2009

Muscari botryoides (L.) Bak.

Fully-hardy, slender bulbous perennial with semi-erect, narrowly spoon-shaped leaves and dense racemes of spherical bright blue flowers with white mouths in spring.  To 20cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on January 07 2010

Prunus persica ‘Elruge’

A Prunus persica (L.) Batsch. cultivar. ‘Flowers small. Fruit middle-sized, rather more long than broad. Skin greenish yellow on the shaded side; but when exposed to the sun, of a dark red or purple colour. Flesh greenish yellow, melting and juicy, of a very excellent flavour, and separates from the stone. Ripe the beginning and middle of August.’ [George Lindley – Orchard Guide p.289/1831].

 

Added on June 03 2010

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 - 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

Essays

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

Colonial Australian Wines

The following article appeared in The Gardeners’ Chronicle of Saturday, November 25th, 1854. It includes a review of seven wines sent to the proprietors of The Gardeners’ Chronicle from Camden Park by William Macarthur, together with his notes on the wines, the vineyards in which they were produced and the economic conditions pertaining to wine production and sale in Australia. Macarthur’s brief notes, when read with the more detailed essay Some Account of the Vineyards at Camden, extends our knowledge of wine production at Camden but most importantly provides an external (but not necessarily unbiased) view of the quality of the wines.

Published Jun 30, 2011 - 02:12 PM | Last updated Jul 04, 2011 - 09:00 AM

“The Blight” and the Camden Vineyards

Although the general heading of this collection of essays is ‘William Macarthur on Winemaking’ the two letters and two editorials from the Sydney Herald reproduced here are not from William’s pen. They concern the vine blight and its possible causes but also give an interesting perspective on the vineyards at Camden Park and on the esteem with which the Macarthur’s, particularly William, were held as vine growers as early as 1831. This makes them a worthwhile contribution to the story of the Camden Park wineries.

Published Jul 11, 2011 - 12:27 PM | Last updated Jul 17, 2011 - 05:31 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

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.