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

Quercus robur L.

Fully-hardy, spreading deciduous tree with fissured bark, oblong leaves with rounded lobes, to 14cm long, and single or small clusters of acorns.  To 35m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Added on February 03 2010

Camellia japonica ‘Chandleri’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L., it has a spreading habit with large, semi-double to anemone-form, bright red flowers with an occasional white blotch.  [Hilliers’].  ‘Bud large, pointed-oval, with scales part blackish and part yellowish; flower four inches in diameter, rose-form, double, depressed, of a superb deep orange-red, No.8; petals of the circumference mucronated, imbricated, rounded, regularly arranged, crenated, those of the centre smaller, erect, elongate, folded a little in a cornet form, sometimes spotted with white.-Magnificent.’  [Berlèse Monography p.84/1838].  Flowers on an individual tree may vary from all red to all white, with forms in between.

Added on June 21 2009

Rosa ‘Napoleon’

Gallica rose.  Deep rose coloured flowers, shaded purple, large and double.  [Paul (1848, 1863, 1888, 1903), Rivers (1857, 1863)].

 

 

Added on February 12 2010

Pelargonium ‘Bride of Abydos’

A Florists‘ Geranium. Rendle’s ‘Bride of Abydos’ was included in ‘a list of the most splendid seedling geraniums […] light pink, good spot, excellent form, and a fine trusser above the foliage.  [FC p.57/1839].  It was still being offered for sale by Henry Walton, Florist, Burnley, in The Gardeners Chronicle of 1854.  [Gard. Chron. 1854].

 

Added on January 29 2009

Iris species unidentified [1]

An unidentified species, no description.

Added on November 08 2009

Rosa ‘Prince Albert’

Bourbon rose, actually a cross between ‘Gloire de Romenè’, a Bourbon, and a Damask China.  It produces clusters of scarlet-crimson flowers, medium size, very double, of compact form.  A shrub of moderate growth with short, stiff shoots, useful as a bedding rose.  By all contemporary accounts a beautiful rose.  [Paul (1848, 1863, 1888), Rivers (1854, 1857, 1863), FC p.305/1856, BF pl.15/1841].

 

 

Added on February 12 2010

Achimenes skinneri Lindl.

Today Achimenes skinneri and Achimenes hirsuta are regarded as synonymous but they were usually regarded as separate species in the Victorian literature and for that reason are given separate entries here.  [RHSD]. The Botanical Register describes Achimenes hirsuta as resembling Achimenes pedunculata [Benth.] and, like the latter, it bears bulblets in the axils of its leaves and branches.  [BR f.55/1843].  Its red flowers have a deep rose-coloured border, the lobes notched.  Allen describes Achimenes hirsuta with ‘hairy leaves and rose-coloured flowers with a yellow eye’.

Added on August 26 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 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

Memorandum from the Antipodes: Colouring of Grapes

The following Memorandum was submitted to The Gardeners’ Chronicle by William Macarthur in 1854. Although written in response to a particular problem aired in the columns of the newspaper some months earlier, it adds considerably to our understanding of commercial wine production at Camden Park, in particular the preferred grapes and the style of wine best suited to the colonial conditions. We are also given insights into the problems caused by ‘sudden abstraction of labour attending our gold crisis’, which caused considerable disruption of agrarian and other commercial activities in Australia for some years.

Published Jun 30, 2011 - 04:42 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:12 AM

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

Edmund Blake - Gardener

Edmund Blake is important in the history of Camden Park gardens, where he was employed as a gardener from 1837 until probably at least 1867.  William Macarthur named three hybrid plants in his honour, Passiflora  ‘Blakei’, Gladiolus ‘Blakei’ and Erythrina ‘Blakei, testament to the high regard in which he was held.  Erythrina ‘Blakei’ has survived to this day. It is a magnificent shrub worthy of a place in any large garden.

Published Apr 03, 2010 - 03:35 PM | Last updated Aug 14, 2012 - 04:55 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.