Real World Gardener Australia’s Oldest Garden in Garden History

March 16th, 2018


Camden Park Estate

Have you ever wondered how gardens became established during colonial times?

You might be surprised that there were even catalogs of plants that grew in many large colonial gardens.

It’s a real treasure and rare to discover that a historical garden complete with dwelling is still around, but to find such a place that has remained with the same family is even rarer.

When you hear that growing in the garden is one of Australia’s trees, then you have an enticing combination.


Camden Park Estate Pic: Creative Commons

This estate is so interwoven into Australia’s Colonial history, that it would be unthinkable that it would be developed into blocks of apartments.

Let’s find out how this garden estate continues.

I'm talking with Stuart Read, committee member of the Garden History Society of Australia.

PLAY:Camden Park Estate_7th March 2018


Stuart mentioned that you can view the old plant nursery catalogues online.

The website is

The Hortus (which is a collection) attempts to correctly identify, describe, illustrate and provide a brief history of all the plants grown at Camden Park between c.1820 and 1861.

You can also just look up when a certain plant came into cultivation in Australia.

For example the Hoop Pine entry in the Hortus reads


Hoop Pine Araucaria cunnimghamiana

Pic: Tatters @ Flickr


“‘Grows naturally in warm temperate riverine and costal rainforest or as a pioneer in subtropical forest, on poor soils from the Macleay River in N New South Wales to Townsville and offshore islands including New Guinea, occasionally close to the seashore. Widely grown in the nineteenth century in public parks and gardens; now rarely planted in SE Australia. […] The timber, grown in rainforest plantations in N New South Wales and S Queensland, is used mostly for plywood, but also for joinery, furniture and boat-building. More recently this species has been used experimentally for agroforestry.’”


If you have any questions either for me or for Stuart, you can email us or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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