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

Erica imbricata L.

See Botanical and Horticultural History

Added on January 09 2009

Dahlia ‘Claudia’

Introduced in 1853, ‘purple with white tip; good outline, but not equal to Mrs. Hansard.’  [FC p.37/1853].

Added on April 21 2009

Gladiolus (x colvilli) x (x gandavensis) [#4]

(Gladiolus x colvilli) x (Gladiolus x gandavensis) hybrid, no.4 in Macarthur’s notebook no.5 in an entry dated 1846.  ‘Robust scape.  Paler than No.3, lower lobes partly yellow with dark crimson blotches.  Middling variety.’  [MP A2948-5].

Added on October 22 2009

Rosa ‘Général Druot’

Classified by Paul and Rivers as a Perpetual Moss, ‘Général Druot’ has purple, semi-double flowers, of bright crimson, and is a free and vigorous grower.  [Paul (1848, 1863, 1888), Rivers (1854, 1857, 1863), Henry Curtis p. 5 vol.2/1853].



Added on February 11 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

Matthiola incana (L.) R.Br. var. graeca

See Matthiola incana 'Dwarf Stock' for a brief description of the type.  Summer flowering with white flowers.  [JD].  ‘There is a very distinct type [of Stock] known as Wallflower-leaved, which was introduced many years ago from the Grecian Archipelago, and which has shining deep-green leaves, not unlike a Wallflower.’  [Robinson - The English Flower Garden and Home Grounds 10th Edition, p.680/1907].

Added on October 02 2009

Gleditsia triacanthos L.

Spreading, deciduous tree with a spiny trunk and shoots, the spines branched and up to 15cm long.  It has pinnate leaves, to 25cm long, composed of up to 24 leaflets, and pendant, sickle-shaped seed pods, to 45cm long, in summer and autumn.  To 30m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Added on December 21 2009


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


Thomas Harris (1885-1948)

Thomas Harris, born in Worcestershire in 1885, was a gardener at Camden Park from 1913 to 1938.

Published Aug 16, 2012 - 11:09 AM | Last updated Mar 16, 2015 - 02:12 PM

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

Florists’ flowers

Floristry, in the 17th, 18th and 19th century meaning of the word, the growing and improvement of flowering plants for the sake of their beauty alone, has a long history in China and Asia but is of relatively recent origin in Europe.  From quite humble beginnings, the small scale leisure activity of artisans and labourers, it attracted the attention of the owners of the great pleasure gardens and botanic gardens of Europe.  Specialised nurseries began to appear to service great and small gardens, providing a means of disseminating the beautiful new varieties which the nurseries were both breeding and obtaining from enthusiastic amateurs.

Published Mar 12, 2010 - 03:41 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 05:30 PM

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 - 08:45 AM | Last updated Feb 29, 2012 - 03:08 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 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.