Celebrating 200 years of camellias in Australia

The front cover of the July issue of Australian Garden History celebrates 200 years of camellias in Australia. It shows a Camellia reticulata ‘Ellie Rubensohn’ and Camden Park, where William Macarthur produced the first Australian camellia cultivar, ‘Aspasia Macarthur’ in 1848.

The journal’s back cover introduces readers to the AGHS’s rich and growing oral history collection. To carry on the camellia theme, this issue features Dr Stephen Utick, Australia’s champion of historic camellias here and elsewhere in the world.

The Society’s Southern Highlands branch has, after many years of lobbying, helped save an important and unusual camellia landscape on Station Street in Bowral. Happily, the Wingecarribee Council has recently renovated the collection. Among the plants are rare cultivars, such as Camellia japonica ‘Jouvan’, a Guilfoyle camellia dating from 1866, ‘Aspasia Macarthur’ and ‘Orandakô’ from Japan (1739).

Inside the covers come stories from far north Queensland down the east coast to the Southern Highlands and Melbourne, then across the Tasman to Wellington, New Zealand. We also learn about the thorn apple and love apple, plants of both poison and allure.

In our advocacy section, we explain why the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association (HVWTA) is seeking heritage listing for the Hunter Valley wine landscape, which includes some of the world’s oldest remaining Syrah vine root stock.

The Society’s patron, Professor Tim Entwisle, reviews The Earth Transformed: An Untold Story. He finds Peter Frankopan’s exhaustive approach too qualified to be conclusive about just how defining the natural environment has been on human history. Nevertheless, Entwisle endorses Frankopan’s message that we must care for our natural environment as if our lives depend on it.

AGH Vol. 35 No. 1 July 2023


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