Located in the municipality of Forio, on the promontory of Zaro, La Mortella Gardens are a true oasis of beauty. Created beginning in 1958 at the behest of Lady Susana Walton, the Argentine-born wife of English composer Sir William Walton, they were designed by landscape architect Russell Page and then for 50 years developed according to the lady’s sensibilities. Outstanding work, whose importance in the botanical world, has been recognized to the point that a new orchid hybrid has been named Lady Walton, specifically: the Miltassia Lady Susana Walton.
The Waltans arrived in Ischia in 1949, and when they acquired the land on which the gardens are developed, they were inspired by the myrtle bushes (named Myrtus communis) growing among the rocks, from which they derived the property’s name.
Extending over 2 hectares, La Mortella’s environments are divided into a lower garden in the Valley and an upper garden on the Hill, terraced with dry stone walls. The two gardens on different levels are connected by ladders, paths, and trails that also run alongside waterways, the presence of which also makes possible the cultivation of aquatic plants. The wide variety of exotic and rare plants makes I Giardini La Mortella a true botanical garden, offering guests a unique experience in an evocative itinerary enriched by rocky environments, waterways, fountains and three tropical greenhouses: the Victoria House, the Orchid Greenhouse and the Temple of the Sun.
Today La Mortella Gardens belong to and are managed by the William Walton Foundation and La Mortella, on a bequest from Lady Walton, following her artistic vocation.