Lady Susana Walton
La Mortella, Ischia, Italy
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On the island of Ischia, just off the Italian coast from Naples,
is one of the world's remarkable gardens. It is called La Mortella,
"The Place of the Myrtles", an unexpected oasis in
a dramatic stone landscape bordering the sea. The story of the
garden and the people who built it is charmingly told by Lady
Susana Walton on the garden's web site and in her books, but
a brief account here will introduce them.
William Walton was, during his lifetime, and is still considered
to be, one of Britain's most important contemporary composers
of classical music. With his Argentinian-born wife Susana, he
fell in love with the craggy ravine in Ischia and engaged renowned
landscape architect Russell Page to create a garden within it.
Giardini La Mortella has 1,000 different exotic plants, stunning
water features and sweeping vistas.
For us, perhaps the most alluring part of the
garden is the Victoria House, a rain forest environment full
of rare aroids, bromeliads and, of course, Victoria. Lady Susana
is one of the few people who has brought a Victoria through several
In 2000, Lady Susana transported the essence of La
Mortella, including Victoria, to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
in Britain, where it was one of the highlights of that year's
In November 2002, Britain royally reciprocated with
a visit to La Mortella. Lady Susana is pictured with HRH The
Prince of Wales in the garden. >>>
The garden is open to the public April through October from 9
a.m. to 7 p.m.. Every Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m. there is
a concert in the Recital Hall by talented young musicians.
Lady Susana passed away in March of 2010. La Mortella
continues on in the capable hands of Alessandra Vinciguerra.
La Mortella's Web Site