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

Metternichia princeps Miers

Frost tender, compact, evergreen, freely branching shrub with terminal and axillary racemes of campanulate white flowers with greenish tubes, in summer.  Usually to 1m in cultivation, to 8m in the wild.  [RHSD].

Added on February 27 2010

Dianthus caryophyllus Sharpe’s ‘Agitation’

For generic information on the garden Carnation and Picotee see Dianthus caryophyllus L.  Sharpe’s ‘Agitation’ is a purple edged picotee.  ‘When in a weak state the flowers are apt to come out of character, and then present nothing remarkable.  On the contrary, when the layers are strong and well grown, it is one of the very best purple edges in cultivation, and would attract the eye in a moment amongst a thousand.  It is fine in form, purity and marking.’  [Gard. Chron. 1846].

Added on April 12 2009

Prunus persica (L.) Batsch. var. flore pleno

A number of double-flowered varieties of the common peach were available at this time, and this may be an introduction from China or an older variety.  In either case it is a spreading, deciduous tree with solitary, bowl-shaped white, pink or red flowers, before the leaves, in spring, followed by edible red-blushed fruit.  [RHSE, Hortus].  The variety grown by Macarthur is unknown but the discrepancy in dates means that it cannot be one of the very double forms introduced by Robert fortune in 1845.  

Added on February 18 2009

Gladiolus species unidentified white

Unidentified species or hybrid, no description other than that it has white flowers.

Added on October 28 2009

Primula vulgaris Huds.

Fully hardy, rosette-forming evergreen perennial with clusters of often fragrant, usually pale yellow flowers in late winter and spring. To 20cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on October 14 2009

Dahlia ‘Mary of Little Park’

Squibbs’ ‘Mary of Little Park’ is ‘very pleasing in colour [not specified], but, large, wide, and ugly in form’.  [FC p.12/1838].

 

Added on January 28 2009

Gladiolus (cardinalis x tristis) x (x gandavensis) [#14]

Three way hybrid, (Gladiolus cardinalis x G. tristis) x Gladiolus x gandavensis no.14, described in Macarthur’s notebook no.4 in 1847.  ‘Moderately large scape, small flowers with thin petals, colour very pale between pink and pale yellow, purple blotches on lower lobes.  Indifferent variety.’  [MP A2948-4].

Added on October 22 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 7: The Vintage (Continued)

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters IX, X and XI, reproduced in Part 6, dealt with the vintage, including the theory and practice of fermentation and preparation for winemaking. The vintage is continued in Part 7, letters XII and XIII giving a description of grape harvesting and crushing. The illustration used here is an excellent lithograph showing the grape harvest at the third vineyard at Camden Park in 1878.

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 24, 2010 - 05:07 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:14 AM

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

Rambles in New Zealand - Part 4

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 - 02:37 PM | Last updated Mar 16, 2015 - 02:13 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 - 02:57 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.