La Mortella Gardens were created in 1958 by Lady Susana Walton , the wife of Argentine origin of the English composer Sir William Walton . The gardens are located on the promontory of Zaro in the municipality of Forio on the island of Ischia.
The Waltons came to Ischia shortly after their marriage in 1949. At first they settled in a rental house , but then decided to buy land in the place called Le Mortelle - from the name of the myrtle bushes (Myrtus communis) growing between the rocks. So the property was called La Mortella.
Lady Walton developed the garden for more than 50 years , at the beginning with the help and advice of the English landscape designer Russell Page, subsequently following her own inspiration.
Widowed in 1983, Lady Walton decided to open the garden to the public in 1991 .At the same time she created two foundations, the William Walton Trust in England, and The Fondazione William Walton in Italy , with the aim of promoting the music of her late husband, encouraging the love and knowledge of music, and preserve the gardens .
In 2003, Lady Walton entrusted the task of managing La Mortella to the Italian Foundation , to which later she transferred the whole property. For this reason , the Foundation changed its name to "Fondazione William Walton La Mortella ." By doing so Lady Walton passed the baton and made sure she could follow closely the transition from a privately owned concern, personally managed by herself , to a non-profit cultural organization aimed at the public benefit.
Today La Mortella belongs to Fondazione William Walton La Mortella, that manages the garden, opens it to the public, takes care of the administration , and is in charge of cultural activities.