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

Pyrus communis ‘Beurré de Capiaumont’

‘Fruit middle-sized, turbinate, regularly tapering to the stalk, about three inches and a quarter long, and two inches and a half in diameter. Eye not at all sunk, but level with the extremity. Stalk scarcely half an inch long, inserted without any cavity. Skin a fine clear cinnamon, fading into yellow in the shade, and acquiring a rich bright red in the sun. Flesh yellowish, melting, buttery, very rich, and highly flavoured. Ripe the middle of October, and will keep for two or three weeks.’ [George Lindley – Orchard Guide p.368/1831].

Added on May 18 2010

Calanthe triplicata (Willemet) Ames

Evergreen ground orchid with thick, short pseudobulbs, pleated leaves and upright inflorescence bearing pure white, crucifix-like flowers in summer.  [Jones].

Added on January 24 2010

Dendranthema x grandiflorum ‘Parviflora’

A cultivar of Dendranthema x grandiflorum Kitam. I have found no description of  this cultivar. ‘Parviflora’ means having smaller flowers [Stearn].

Added on April 13 2009

Psoralea aphylla L.

Half-hardy evergreen shrub with erect or drooping branches, nearly leafless, trifoliate leaves, and fragrant, pea-like blue and white flowers in summer.  To 2m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Added on December 24 2009

Vitis vinifera ‘Black Prince’

‘Bunches rather long, and generally unshouldered; they are, however, occasionally well shouldered. Berries oval, and, when well thinned out, of a very good size. Skin dark blackish purple, covered with a thick blue bloom. Flesh white, abounding with sweet well flavoured Juice. In pulling the berry from the stalk, a long receptacle is left, which is red, and covered with the white flesh. Seeds large, generally four, and sometimes five, in each berry. Leaves rather fleshy, broad in proportion to their length, with long footstalks, tinged with red: the principal lobes not deeply divided, broadly serrated, becoming variegated in the autumn with pale red and dark purple.

The Black Prince is of easy culture, requiring only the protection of the greenhouse or common vinery; and in favourable seasons it will, on a warm dry soil, ripen its fruit on a south wall.’ [George Lindley – Orchard Guide p.195/1831].


Added on June 23 2010

Dahlia ‘Metropolitan Purple’

‘Moderate, but rather too starry’, suggesting that it was a semi-cactus type.  [FC p.27/1838].  I have found no detailed description.

Added on April 21 2009

Vitis vinifera ‘White Grape No 56’

This is grape no. 56 of Busby’s personal collection. I have no description at present.


Added on June 25 2010


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 7: The Vintage (Continued)

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters IX, X and XI, reproduced in Part 6, dealt with the vintage, including the theory and practice of fermentation and preparation for winemaking. The vintage is continued in Part 7, letters XII and XIII giving a description of grape harvesting and crushing. The illustration used here is an excellent lithograph showing the grape harvest at the third vineyard at Camden Park in 1878.

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 24, 2010 - 05:07 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:14 AM

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

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

Letters on the Culture of the Vine Part 9: Preparation of Wine

Letters on the Culture of the Vine and Manufacture of Wine by Maro, pen-name of William Macarthur. Letters XVI and XVII describe the manufacture of wine from secondary fermentation to bottling and storage. The illustration used here is Plate 3 from Letters, which illustrates some of the equipment used in the manufacture of wine, described here and in earlier parts.

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 - 10:34 AM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 11:13 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 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.