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

Dianthus caryophyllus Walliss’ ‘Beauty of Cradley’

For generic information on the garden carnation see Dianthus caryophyllus L.  Walliss’ ‘Beauty of Cradley’ is a scarlet flake carnation.  ‘Fine pod; rather thin, petals finely shaped, ribbed with intense scarlet; white not very pure.’  [Gard. Chron. 1843].  ‘The flowers are finely marked, but require bleaching, as they come out rather flushed.’  [FC p.254/1842].

Added on April 08 2009

Schinus molle L.

Frost tender, usually broad-headed tree with slender, pendant branches, pinnate leaves, to 30cm long, composed of up to 41 narrow leaflets, and pendant panicles, to 20cm long, of tiny whitish flowers from winter to summer, followed by rose-pink fruit.  To 25m.  Although ostensibly tender it thrives in the Camden district.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].  The fruits have been eaten and sold as pink peppercorns.

Added on March 17 2010

Dahlia ‘Beauty of Bedford’

Mayles’ ‘Beauty of Bedford’.  ‘Most beautiful shaded purple, and may sometimes be obtained good enough for show, although not a first rate form.’  [FC p.12/1838].

Added on April 21 2009

Pittosporum tenuifolium Banks & Sol. ex Gaertn. var. nigricans

Frost hardy, bushy shrub to small tree with elliptic, wavy-margined leaves, to 6cm long, and small axillary clusters of honey-scented, bell-shaped, black-red flowers in spring and summer, followed by grey-black capsules.  ‘Nigricans’ has black twigs.  To 10m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Added on March 23 2009

Clarkia tenella (Cav.) F.H. & M.E.Lewis

Frost tender, erect, sometimes decumbent, perennial with branched stems, elliptical leaves to 6cm, and lavender to blue or deep red-purple flowers in summer.  To 50cm.  [RHSD].

Added on October 12 2009

Hippeastrum striatum (Lam.) H.E.Moore

A variable species with many recognised varieties.  Stout stems bear an umbel of up to 4, funnel-shaped, orange to coral-red flowers, each segment bearing a central green stripe, in spring and summer.  The leaves emerge with the flowers.  [RHSE, Hortus].  

Added on May 10 2009

Aeschynanthus lamponga Miq.

Frost-tender, trailing evergreen perennial with ovate leaves and axillary clusters of tubular orange-red to scarlet flowers, to 5cm long, in summer.  To 30cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on February 01 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 10: The Wine Cellar

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letter XVIII, the final letter, describes the construction and operation of a wine cellar. Although Macarthur writes ‘I have not had so much experience practically in the construction of this description of buildings, as with the majority of the details, upon which, I have endeavoured to communicate information’ it seems likely that the building he describes in such detail is modeled on the Wine House at Camden Park, the remains of which survive. Indeed, in discussing the perfect site, he also writes that ‘such in fact is the description of site adopted at Camden’. The illustration used here is a photograph of the ruins of the Camden Park Wine House showing the brick and sandstone vats built in the cellar of this building 170 years ago. These are ‘of two sizes, which contain respectively, 900 and 1,700 gallons; and we use them, as well to ferment in, as to store the wine in afterwards.’ So well built were these vats that William Macarthur asserted ‘they will probably endure without repairs for generations’. He was certainly correct in this as, although they have not been used for more than 100 years and have been open to the elements for much of this time, three of these vats are still in good repair today. The other two are partly collapsed. In this final letter Macarthur also describes the construction of brick wine bins such as are to be seen in the cellars at Camden Park house. A photograph on one of these bins is given in Part 9.

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 Oct 03, 2010 - 03:00 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:10 AM

Rambles in New Zealand - part 3

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 - 02:11 PM | Last updated Mar 01, 2012 - 07:02 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

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.