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

Gladiolus (cardinalis x tristis) x (x gandavensis) [#12]

Three way hybrid, (Gladiolus cardinalis x G. tristis) x Gladiolus x gandavensis no.12, described in Macarthur’s notebook no.4 in 1847.  ‘Slender scape, moderate size flowers, middling shape, crimson, lower lobes yellowish streaked with purplish crimson.  Middling variety.’  [MP A2948-4].

Added on October 22 2009

Achimenes erecta (Lam.) H.P.Fuchs var. rosea

For a description of the species see Achimenes erecta (Lam.) H.P.FuchsAchimenes rosea is a variety of Achimenes erecta which occurs naturally with with rich deep rose flowers. It is treated here as a naturally occurring variety rather than cultivar. See also Achimenes erecta ‘Superba’, A. erecta ‘Eximia' and A. erecta ‘Splendens’.

Added on August 25 2009

Yucca bowieana [Macarthur]

Unidentified Yucca or related species. I have found no reference to a plant of this name.

It is possibly an error with Aloe bowieana intended, although it seems unlikely that Macarthur would mistake a plant from the Americas with one from South Africa. See Notes.

 

Added on January 22 2009

Clerodendrum paniculatum L.

Shrub with ovate, cordate leaves and much branched panicles of scarlet flowers.  To 1.2m.  [RHSD].

Added on February 22 2009

Malus domestica ‘Wood Rick’

I have found no description of this apple in the contemporary literature.

 

 

Added on April 16 2010

Rosa ‘Madame Bois’

Hybrid Perpetual.  ‘Madame Bois’ was described by Paul as a fine light rose colour, in the way of ‘Victor Verdier’.  [Paul 1903].

 

 

Added on February 12 2010

Lavatera trimestris L. var. alba

Fully-hardy annual with rounded, shallowly lobed leaves, to 6cm long, and, in the variety alba, open funnel-shaped white flowers, to 10cm across, produced singly from the leaf axils in summer.  In the species the flowers vary from white to blush pink.  To 1.2m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Added on January 13 2010

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

Camden Park Roses

Roses were very important to the Camden Park gardens, 297 are listed in the Hortus, substantially more than the next largest genus, Camellia with 140 plants.  This brief review summarises the major types of rose grown and discusses the change in profile of roses over the decades from 1843 to 1861. 

Published Feb 13, 2010 - 03:27 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 11:02 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

“The Blight” and the Camden Vineyards

Although the general heading of this collection of essays is ‘William Macarthur on Winemaking’ the two letters and two editorials from the Sydney Herald reproduced here are not from William’s pen. They concern the vine blight and its possible causes but also give an interesting perspective on the vineyards at Camden Park and on the esteem with which the Macarthur’s, particularly William, were held as vine growers as early as 1831. This makes them a worthwhile contribution to the story of the Camden Park wineries.

Published Jul 11, 2011 - 12:27 PM | Last updated Jul 17, 2011 - 05:31 PM

A Brief History of the Camden Park Gardens

William Macarthur, born at Parramatta, New South Wales in 1800, was the youngest son of the colonial pioneers John and Elizabeth Macarthur. He became an accomplished agronomist, horticulturist, viticulturist and gardener, but above all he was a plantsman. Although he certainly sought to create a pleasant gentleman’s garden at Camden his real interest was in growing useful, unusual, exotic and beautiful plants for their own sake as well as for their utility. He established his first garden at Camden in 1820. More than 3000 species, hybrids and cultivars were grown in the gardens up to 1861, all of them described in the Hortus. Many more were grown in the succeeding decades. Of course not all of these plants succeeded at Camden. William was an innovator and put much energy into determining which plants could be acclimatised and which could not and he became an authority on the subject, his expertise sought by such bodies as the Queensland Acclimatisation Society, founded in 1862.

The historic value of the Camden Park gardens is almost inestimable.  Many changes have occurred in the gardens in the almost 200 years since they were first laid out, but the basic framework of the gardens remains with many historically significant trees and shrubs surviving. Over the years the diversity of plants in the gardens has naturally diminished. This has occurred mainly since World War II, partly due to a lack of labour to maintain and replace the more sensitive species and varieties. The economic conditions of today make it very difficult to manage extensive private gardens but John and Edwina Macarthur-Stanham, the present owners, have done much to halt and reverse the post-war decline, and there is a very real desire on the part of the family to maintain and develop the gardens.

Published Jun 27, 2010 - 02:25 PM | Last updated Jun 27, 2010 - 02:33 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

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.