Adventures of the Azeris in Italy – La Mortella (Ischia)
From time to time we are promised that a Russian representative of some travel company will come to the hotel to “tell us everything” and organise a tour. But we do not believe in anything any longer and try to entertain ourselves as much as we can. Having gone through the available booklets, we decided to visit the La Mortella gardens.
These gardens were planted by an Argentinian gardener who was the wife of the famous English composer Sir John Walton. They settled in Ischia in 1949, and, for the inspiration of her talented husband, she created the lower garden, full of the most rare plants from all around the world, including the giant Amazonian water lily Victoria amazonica, a leaf of which, as we all remember from our school books, can easily hold a month-old baby (dedicated to those lilies is the Victoria House, where water pours into a pool out of a the ‘bocca’ (mouth) bas-relief); the Chinese paper tree, lotus, bamboos, Araucaria , bromeliads (that’s all I could remember, although there were lots more).
The upper garden was created after the death of Sir Walton , in his memory. He is buried right here (and so is Susana – his widow, who died later and who is referred to as the soul of the garden). Clambering up, we saw the Greek theatre , a pool with a bronze crocodile, the Temple of the Sun, the Thai pagoda and a concert hall, where they show a documentary with Lady Walton herself talking about the garden. We did not watch it all, but caught the moment where Prince Charles of Wales was admiring her replicated version of the Victoria House at Chelsea Flower Show in London.