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

Ficus carica L.

Somewhat tender deciduous tree with variable but usually 3-lobed leaves and edible fruit of various shapes and colours.  To 10m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on April 02 2010

Ipomoea hederacea Jacq.

Ipomoea caerulea splendens is probably a form of Ipomoea caerulea Roxb. ex Ker-Gawl., a synonym of Pharbitis hederacea.  Annual climber with cordate, 3-lobed leaves and blue or pale purple flowers.  [RHSD. Hortus].  See also Pharbitis hederacea (Jacq.) Choisy var. dillenii .

Added on October 05 2009

Paeonia peregrina Mill.

A fully-hardy herbaceous perennial with erect stems, deeply cut leaves and single, bowl-shaped, glistening, deep red flowers in spring and summer. To 60cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].  

Added on February 18 2009

Camellia japonica ‘Rossii’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. ‘Rossii’ is a seedling of ‘Anemoniflora’ with deep red flowers, the petals finely veined.  [ICR, FC p.186/1835].  ‘Leaves large, ovate-lanceolate, curled, recurved towards the stock, very dentate, of a full green; bud with green scales; flower double, three inches in diameter, of a fine cherry-red, No.4, sometimes spotted. – Very beautiful.’  [Berlèse Monography p.80/1838].

Added on July 01 2009

Ipomopsis rubra (L.) Wherry

Half hardy, erect, unbranched perennial with pinnate leaves with needle-like segments, to 2.5cm in a basal rosette, and scarlet, tubular flowers, to 2.5cm, red and yellow spotted inside, in summer and autumn.  To 2m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on February 06 2009

Sinningia speciosa ‘Caulescens’

A cultivar of Sinningia speciosa (Lodd.) Hiern. A dwarf plant with small, bright purple, slipper-shaped flowers.  [RHSD, Fish]. This description is somewhat at odds with the description given in Loddiges’ Botanical Cabinet: ‘This grows with an erect stem nearly two feet in height’. At Camden Park there is a variety grown from Brazilian seed and simply labelled ‘Large Purple’ that is very similar to Loddiges’ description and to the figure in the Botanical Register used here.

 

Added on September 04 2009

Narcissus tazetta L.

Very variable bulbous perennial with erect, broad, twisted leaves and up to 20 sweetly scented flowers with white to bright yellow perianths and white to yellow cups in winter and spring.  To 50cm.  [RHSE, Hortus, Baker Am.].

Added on May 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 - 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

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 5: Management and Replenishment of the Vineyard

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters VII and VIII deal with the management of the vineyard after planting, the use of manures and the replenishment of an exhausted vineyard. The illustration used here is Macarthur’s Plate 2, a section of a vineyard. This is referred to in detail in Part 4, however it does illustrate the method of vine culture recommended and described here, the dwarf-standard method which at this time was practiced mostly in the north of France.

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 09, 2010 - 05:49 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:15 AM

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

Some Account of the 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.” ’

This short pamphlet outlining the Camden vineyards was produced to accompany samples of wine to the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1851.

Published Jan 10, 2011 - 03:54 PM | Last updated Jan 10, 2011 - 04:07 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.