Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 20, 2013

New life at Casa Debbio

It is fascinating to watch things come to life in our growing garden at Casa Debbio. The blossoms are making me sneeze, but through watering eyes I see these beautiful things.

We have cherry blossoms.


Pear blossoms.


The walnut trees are sprouting new growth.



The hazelnuts are doing the same.



Ferns are poking through.


I have planted geraniums and the big pots are waiting patiently to be filled.


Fruit trees, wisteria and roses are waiting to be planted.


The pine trees in front of the house are covered in tiny…no bigger than my little finger nail…pine cones. (At least that’s what I think they are)






This gorgeous flower is called Aquilegia caerulea, or Rocky Mountain Columbine. I hope it likes the mountains of the Garfagnana as well as the Rockies. It is supposed to be self seeding. With a bit of luck they will soon be everywhere. I think it is absolutely fascinating.



I guess you can tell I am fairly new to this gardening thing.


  1. love columbine–can never have too many varieties!

    • I have never seen them before…what incredible plants!!! I want them growing everywhere!

      • How fun that yours will seed themselves! The color combos are amazing too. Enjoy being a gardener–it’s addictive!

  2. I love your big terracotta pots!!

    • They somehow look bigger now that we have them at home. I love them!

  3. Deb, how absolutely gorgeous! I don’t know how you can ever bring yourself to leave! xx

    • It will be difficult leaving at the end of June just when things will really be growing…but I have to spend some time in Brisbane, I love it there too.

  4. Ah! Ah! Ah! So beautiful! Thank you for posting such lovely images!

    • The spring blossoms are wonderful, even though they make me sneeze.

  5. I love the Mountain Columbines. Even their name has a lyrical lilt about it. They look like little ladies with their fairy hats on, and when they open up, they remind me of the Follies dancers (during the 1940s) facing the sun. Such exquisite flowers! I’m glad you found them, Debra. They’ll bring many smiles to Casa Debbio.

    • I think the Columbines are heavenly. I haven’t seen them before. I can’t wait to see them growing everywhere.

  6. Debbio, like the flowers, you and your blog are endlessly fascinating!

    • Thank you, I can’t take any credit for the flowers.

  7. I never get tired of spring photos. I also love the Rocky Mountain Columbine flowers. They look so tropical. I could imagine being somewhere on a beach with a fruity drink enjoying these lovely flowers

    • It is amazing that something looking so delicate can be fairly hardy.

  8. No, I couldn’t tell as it looks absolutely amazing. I love the pots too.

    • We have discovered fruit trees all over the property…I can’t take credit for those. I hope the things I plant do as well.

  9. absolutely gorgeous.. c

  10. The fruit tree blossoms are so beautiful and how lovely to have the possibility of fruit from them. The tiny pine cones look like little honeycombs and the columbine is beautiful. There is such joy to be had in a garden isn’t there even If the price is aching bones! It’s going to look very beautiful – love the pots.

    • I hope the garden starts to take shape soon. I am impatient to see everything growing.

  11. The blossoms are beautiful Debra as are the gorgeous purple columbines. The mountains must be a picture at this time of the year.

    • The mountains are just beginning to show their spring colours. The trees are turning the most glorious shades of green and there are cherry trees with their white blossoms appearing all over.

  12. Spring sure is bursting out around your Casa Debbio – it’s terrific to see the fruit trees blooming – the chaste, private little pear blossoms are a revelation! Your choice of purple columbines to naturalise up the hillsides is fantastic – have fun pottering and planting 🙂

    • I couldn’t resist the columbines when I saw them at the plant nursery. I hope they do well at Casa Debbio.

  13. Great work. What a wonderful thing to be able to do Debra and I’m sure you take none of it for granted. Your beautiful house deserves the beautiful new garden you’re creating.

    • The house is going to look wonderful once the garden is established…it will be worth all the work and waiting.

  14. Absolutely gorgeous, Debra! I love those columbines. Thank you for sharing with us.

    • The columbines almost don’t look real. It is as if somebody made them up.

  15. Beautiful! Cant wait to see the progress you have made!

    • You will be able to see it very soon.

  16. I think you are doing a marvellous job Debra if you are new at this gardening thing. So many beautiful plants. I have my fingers crossed for you that the Aquilegia caerulea takes to the Garfagnana environment.

    • I can’t take any credit for the fruit trees. The property was a working farm many years ago and we have been uncovering all kinds of wonderful things under the brambles.

  17. You’ve got a fabulous garden in the making there. We plant Aqualigia in the UK and they do pretty well here, so they’ll rip away in sunny Italy. I can imagine how good the garden will look after just a short period of time.

    • I hope the columbines do well. I bought them from a local nursery and all his plants looked healthy.

  18. If you ever need anyone to care for that garden while your back in Brisbane, I volunteer! It would be challenging but I think I am up to it! ;). Gorgeous!

    • Come on over, we need all the help we can get.

  19. Looking lovely – especially the blossoms…

    • Spring is a beautiful time to be in Italy.

  20. The blossom is so pretty, it’s a shame it makes you sneeze.

    • I am hoping it is the cut grass and it will pass soon.

  21. those columbines are just wonderful, and it’s beautiful watching the seasons change here in Italy x

    • I love the way the trees turn green is a matter of days, it is amazing.

  22. Brilliant photos, Debra. I suspect a macro lens has been employed to capture such pictures. Worthy of the best gardening books.

    • I have a single lens camera, a Canon G12, and I love it.

  23. Great captures of spring … bummer about your sneezing … and I hope has the rain has left!

    • It is actually raining…again, and work has stopped in the garden for the moment.

      • 🙁

  24. Ohhh, worth the sneezing! So gorgeous…I can almost smell the sweet aroma…lovely photos and reminders of the gifts of spring.

    • Spring is gorgeous here in Italy, despite the incessant rain.

  25. I love that purple flower

    • The columbines are gorgeous. I hope they do well.

  26. Lots of work but how satisfying. I pruned my wisteria just in time and can’t for my front door to be framed by mauve sweet-scented bells.. and then the Jasmine after that, then the orange flowers. It’s truly a feast isn’t it? I can’t wait for this year’s cherries.

    • I hope we get some cherries before I have to leave.

  27. These are beautiful.

    • Spring is a gorgeous time to be in the mountains.

  28. Beautiful photos. There is nothing as beautiful as spring, all that new life… You’ve got a lot of fruit trees in your garden!

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