‘I’ve never seen lily pads so big’: readers’ favourite gardens in Europe

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Our tipsters enjoy glorious fragrances and waves of shimmering colour at historic and absorbing gardens from Spain to Sweden

La Mortella is an extraordinary garden we visited on the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples. It is a wonderland of exotic plants, created in 1958 by Argentinian Susana Walton. Unbelievably sumptuous were the hanging orchids, and the experience was full of other delights such as the biggest lily pads I have ever seen. We were guided by the receptionist (with a talking parrot) to the cafe, where we enjoyed fantastic food and then a concert featuring music written by Susana’s husband, Sir William. The gardens are open from 30 March to 3 November (entry €12) on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Our memory is of music, food and glorious surroundings.
David Innes-Wilkin

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