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

Fuchsia ‘Splendidissima’

In 1852, in the pages of The Gardeners Chronicle, Edward George Henderson & Son, of St Johns Wood, advertised the Fuchsia ‘Splendidissima’ for sale: ‘Unrivalled first class show flower, for exhibition purposes; the flowers of large size and great substance; sepals well reflexed, with fine, smooth, crimson tube, and large violet-purple corolla; the plant of good habit and free flowerer; altogether this is a very superior variety.’  [Gard. Chron. 1852].

Added on August 23 2009

Paeonia lactiflora Pall. var. rubescens

See Paeonia lactiflora Pall. var. fragrans for a description of the species.  Paeonia albiflora rubescens is described as a form with pink flowers in Paxton’s Dictionary, although it may be synonymous with P. albiflora var. rubra, with ‘very double, dark purple flowers.  This is the variety most common in gardens.’  [Clericus in FC p.47/1842].

Added on January 29 2010

Rosa ‘General Brea’

Hybrid perpetual.  It has bright rose-crimson flowers, globular, large and full and of good form, growth dwarf.  [Paul 1863, FC p.61/1855].


Added on February 12 2010

Rubus odoratus L.

Fully-hardy, fast-growing, thicket-forming, deciduous shrub with spineless shoots, ovate, 5-lobed leaves, to 24cm long, and panicles of shallowly cup-shaped, fragrant, purple-pink flowers, to 5cm across, in summer and autumn, followed by flattened, edible red fruit.  To 2.5m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Added on February 06 2010

Sparaxis fragrans (Jacq.) Ker-Gawl.

Cormous prennial, the flowers mostly 2-4 per spike, yellow to buff, usually mauve on the outside, highly scented.  To 25cm.  [CECB].

Added on November 17 2009

Dianthus caryophyllus Sharpe’s ‘Hector’

For generic information on the garden Carnation and Picotee see Dianthus caryophyllus L. Sharpe’s ‘Hector’ is a ‘light-edged red picotee, petals large and well formed, white very fine, edging irregular.’  [Gard. Chron. 1842].  A similar variety to Tolworthy’s ‘Isabella’ but of longer standing.  [Gard. Chron. 1846].  ‘Light-edged, rose picotee: pod pretty fair; petals large and well formed; ground very pure; edging pretty regular.  [FC p.43/1849].  ‘Another good flower; the white is waxy, edging good, and the habit of the plant most luxuriant. Should be grown by every one who has even only a small collection.’  [BF p.221/1844].

Added on April 11 2009

Dendrocalamus strictus (Roxb.) Nees

A deciduous, densely-tufted bamboo, the leaves lance-shaped, small in dry situations but up to 45cm long and 3cm broad under good conditions.  To 17m.  The young shoots are edible but it is extensively grown for its timber.  [Several internet sources].

Added on March 28 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


Camden Park Nursery Group

We are a small voluntary group helping to maintain and preserve the historic Camden Park gardens. There are regular meeting days, currently Tuesday and Saturday but this can be varied, but most members contribute through Working Bees held typically every third Sunday.

Published Jun 27, 2010 - 04:16 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 04:32 PM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 2: Climate and Soil

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters I and II deal with climate, site and soil.

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 01, 2010 - 03:26 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:16 AM

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 8: Fermentation of the Wine

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters XIV and XV describe primary and secondary fermentation of the wine. The illustration used here is a photograph of the cellars at Camden Park House.

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 30, 2010 - 05:11 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:14 AM

Raising Tropaeolum tricolor from seed

If you have tried growing Tropaeolum tricolor from seed you have probably encountered difficulty and obtained a low germination rate.  This was certainly my experience before I took this advice.

Published Jan 01, 2010 - 03:33 PM | Last updated Jul 30, 2010 - 03:38 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.