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

Gladiolus ‘Priam’

Camden Park hybrid.  Gladiolus cardinalis x Gladiolus x gandavensis hybrid.  Described in William Macarthur’s note books, in an entry dated December 23rd, 1847, as G. Cardinale inflato-majori-Gandavensis no.2, i.e. a cross between Gladiolus cardinalis var. inflato-majori and G.x  gandavensisGladiolus cardinalis var. inflato-majori is only mentioned in this series of hybrids.  ‘Raised in March 1846, flowered first time early 1847.  Now named ‘Priam’.  Flowers about the size of Gandavensis and of nearly similar shape, of deep red shading crimson with dark crimson blotches upon the lower lobes, yellowish in the throat.  Robust, scapes about 3 feet high, branching, producing numerous flowers.  Very handsome.’  A prolific variety, by 1848 it had produced 7 large roots and between 120 and 140 offshoots.  [MP A2948-5].  ‘Priam’ was described as ‘very handsome’ by Emily Macarthur in a letter to William.

Added on October 20 2009

Achimenes ‘Venusta’

Achimenes ‘Venusta’ is a hybrid between Achimenes erecta (Lam.) H.P.Fuchs. var. rosea and Achimenes patens Benth. Bred by Backhouse and Sons of York,  A. venusta has rich violet-purple flowers, spotted with brown.  [GRA p.38].  

Added on August 26 2009

Camellia japonica ‘Rose coloured’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. No detailed description is extant.

Added on July 04 2009

Narcissus jonquilla L.

Erect to spreading, narrow, semi-cylindrical leaves and heads of up to 5 strongly-scented, golden yellow flowers, with small, pointed perianths and tiny, flat cups, in spring.  To 30cm.  There are a number of varieties varying in stature or form of flower.  The narcissi often given the common name of ‘Jonquil’ are usually tazettiformes.  [RHSE, Hortus, Baker Am.].  

Added on May 18 2009

Vitis vinifera ‘Morrastel’

‘No. 36 - Mourastel. Black grape, much resembling the last, but although sweeter, scarcely so productive

The foregoing three [Carignan, Grenache and Mataro], with sometimes the addition of No. 36 [Mourastell], are described by Mr. Busby, in his journal, and by French authors, as the sorts used in making the wine of Roussillon; the whole being usually planted together. Some of the wine made from them, on decomposing schistus, is said to have been kept more than 150 years, and to have continued to improve to the last.’ [Maro p.29/1844].

 

Added on June 25 2010

Spiraea corymbosa Raf.

Fully-hardy, sparsely branched shrub with broadly elliptic leaves, to 7.5cm, often serrated at the tips, and rounded corymbs of white flowers.  To 1m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on February 06 2010

Maurandya barclaiana Lindl.

Half hardy, erect, free-flowering climber with tubular flowers in shades of pink and purple with white and green tints, in summer and autumn.  Most early depictions of the plant show the flowers as a vibrant purple.  To 5m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on September 24 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 - 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

Vineyards at Camden

The vineyards of Camden Park are widely considered to be the first commercial vineyards in Australia. James and William Macarthur were certainly not the first to sell wine for profit or the first to export wine but were pioneers in the development of vineyards intended to produce a profit from the sale of quality wine. Prior to this wine was produced from small vineyards planted primarily for home consumption, with excess sold and sometimes exported.

The first vineyard was small, only one acre in extent, and largely experimental, but the second and third were on a much grander scale. As the closing words of this pamphlet demonstrate, James and William certainly had a vision of what was possible for Australian wine production, as they had previously for fine Merino wool.

‘Whether these Colonies can also hope to provide for the benefit of every class here at home, and at an equally moderate rate another exportable product, remains yet to be seen — so that even the tired artizan, in his hours of relaxation from toil, may not unseldom exclaim, “Go Fetch me a quart of (Australian) Sack.” ’

Published Aug 25, 2010 - 05:34 PM | Last updated Aug 25, 2010 - 05:51 PM

Rambles in New Zealand - Part 2

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 - 11:18 AM | Last updated Mar 01, 2012 - 06:02 AM

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 - 07:45 AM | Last updated Feb 29, 2012 - 02:08 PM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 4: Forming the Vineyard and Planting Vines

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters V and VI deal with the formation of the vineyard and planting the vines. The illustration used here is Macarthur’s Plate 1, a ground plan for a vineyard. This is probably based on his own third vineyard, commenced c.1830.

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 05, 2010 - 05:03 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:15 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.