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

Rosa ‘River’s Musk’

A cultivar of Rosa moschata Mill. raised by Thomas Rivers from Italian seed is an abundantly blooming rose with small, fragrant flowers of a rosy buff colour.  [Rivers (1854, 1857, (1863), Paul (1848, 1888, 1903)].

Added on February 10 2010

Pyrus communis ‘Beurré Rance’

‘Fruit about the same size as that of the Saint Germain, and not much unlike it in shape; oblong, and tapering to the stalk; about three inches and a half long, and three inches in diameter. Eye small, open with a very short calyx, scarcely or but very slightly sunk. Stalk one inch and a half long, rather slender, inserted without any cavity; in some specimens it is diagonally inserted under a broad elongated lip. Skin dark green at all times, even when most ripe, sprinkled with many russetty specks. Flesh greenish white, melting, rather gritty at the core, but of a delicious rich flavour. The fruit generally shrivels in ripening. In eating from December till March or April.’ [George Lindley – Orchard Guide p.409/1831].



Added on May 19 2010

Malus domestica ‘Norfolk Beaufin’

‘Fruit middling size, flattish, of a deep red and pale green colour; the flesh is firm and savoury; the tree hardy, upright, and a good bearer; fruit excellent for use in the kitchen, and highly esteemed for the dessert. It ripens in November, and is frequently to be obtained in England in July following.’ [FCM p.44/1845].



Added on April 16 2010

Pseudotsuga taxifolia Britton

Very large, densely branched evergreen conifer, the lower branches of mature trees often resting on the ground, bark thick, corky and fissured, cones pendulous, to 10cm long.  To 80m or more.  A very important source of timber.  [RHSD, Hortus]. 

Added on January 24 2009

Verbena x hybrida Young’s ‘Brilliant’

A cultivar of Verbena x hybrida Hort. ex Vilm., the Florists’ Verbena.  ‘Rich, bright scarlet, a fine variety for bedding, being a very free bloomer, and excellent habit.’  C. Turner, Royal Nursery, Slough.  Advertisement in The Gardeners Chronicle.  [Gard. Chron. 1849].


Added on January 30 2009

Plowmania nyctaginoides (Standl.) Hunz. & Subsils

Fully hardy, fast-growing evergreen climber with 4-angled stems, pinnate leaves, to 7cm long, and racemes of tubular orange flowers, to 2.5cm long, from spring to autumn.  To 5m or more.  [RHSE].

Added on February 27 2010

Ixia flexuosa L.

A cormous perennial.  Growing to 65cm tall, it has wiry stems, often unbranched and pink, mauve or white flowers, up to 12 per stem, with darker streaks and a musky odour.  [CECB].

Added on November 12 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


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

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

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

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

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.