The Museum – Garden of Lady Walton, known as ‘La Mortella‘ is a garden open to the public, created by Susana Walton, the Argentine wife of the English composer William, located in the municipality of Forio d’Ischia. The “Mortella” in Neapolitan dialect, is the “divine myrtle” (Myrtus communis), a plant which is very abundant nearby the garden.
Mr and Mrs Walton settled in Ischia in 1949 and built the villa surrounded it by a magnificent botanical garden built in the 60s, partly by the landscape architect Russell Page, who designed the Valley-side area, and partly by Lady Walton, who worked on the Hill or the upper garden. In the upper garden are the Thai Lounge, surrounded by lotus flowers, bamboo and Japanese maples , the Temple of the Sun, the waterfall of the Crocodile, the Nymphaeum , the Greek theater and the William’s Rock, where are kept the artist’s ashes.
The garden spreads over 2 hectares and is home to more than 3,000 species of plants, some of them very rare, streams and ponds, fountains, pools and waterways for aquatic plants such as papyrus, lotus and tropical water lilies.
On the hill, not far from the Greenhouse Orchids, is a museum with Walton’s memories, photographs by Cecil Beaton and a theater by Lele Luzzati.
The Walton foundations, which own the home and the garden, want to make “La Mortella” become a study center for talented young musicians, under the direction of the world’s most important masters. Every year they organize a lively concerts’ season in cooperation with music schools in Naples, Rome and Florence and the Greek theater hosts outdoor summer concerts.