Posted by: Debra Kolkka | September 10, 2014

Return to Casa Debbio

I am back in Italy for a couple of months. I couldn’t wait to get to Casa Debbio to see how my growing garden survived the summer.

I arrived on a glorious sunny afternoon.


My geraniums are still doing well.


The garden beside the house is looking good. Some of the plants have grown very well.




The Chinese lanterns did particularly well.


The lavender is past its prime, but still looking and smelling divine.


I took some inside just before I left.


There are still a few tomatoes, strawberries and raspberries in the garden.

The plants at the back of the house didn’t do quite as well and the mufloni (wild goats) ringbarked a couple of trees and they will probably die. They didn’t eat the bark, just chewed it off and dropped it to the ground. Perhaps they don’t like cachi and magnolia trees and just wanted them dead.


The sun always hits Vergemoli just before it disappears behind the mountains.



That was yesterday. It rained last night and I woke to heavy mist which has remained for most of the day. It is another kind of beauty.

The lavender is sodden and drooping.



The Chinese lanterns are covered with raindrops.



My little bird enjoyed a bath.



The weeping cherry is thriving, although I think its lower branches may have been trimmed by the goats.


The wisteria growing on the fence at the entrance is doing well, but the ferns around it need a serious trim as they threaten to take over everything, including the Japanese maple hiding there.


Vergemoli appeared on and off during the day.





…the sun finally came out late this afternoon.





I am very keen to plant lots of fruit trees and dozens more dafodils for next spring and to watch the autumn unfold in the mountains.


  1. Deb the garden looks fabulous, happy for you. Was great catching up in Lucca.

    • Maybe you can come to visit me at Casa Debbio next year. The garden will be even better then.

  2. Great to hear that you arrived safely. We shall be soon over there. I will send you an email.
    Your garden did very well in spite of the “mufloni”….

    • Fortunately the mufloni didn’t do too much damage.

  3. I can’t wait to see it in person, Debra! Everything looks so lovely. You must be thrilled to be back to your Italy home!

    • It is great to be back for a while. It will look quite different by mid October.

  4. Looks great! But someone should be there to care of your garden, 🙂 so beautiful… Welcome home in Italy dear Debra, have a nice autum days, Thank you, love, nia

    • Filippo looks after things when I am not around and he does a great job, but we are in a national park and we can’t do much about wild animals apart from a high fence and that would cost a fortune.

  5. Hi Debra I follow your posts and came close to buying in Bagni di Lucca. Did you sell your apartment? I do want to go back there and rent for holidays I sell real estate in the US if you ever need help Neva Kaye

    Sent from my iPhone


    • We haven’t sold our apartment in Ponte a Serraglio, we love it there. We built the house in the mountains 2 years ago and now we go between the 2 and rent it when we not here.

  6. Love all your posts!! The garden is amazing!! Look forward to all the beautiful photos of your home and area!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    • The garden will be even better next spring.

  7. Welcome back Debra, the photos are stunningly beautiful! We will be over in October, very much looking forward to catching up with you 🙂

    • You will have to come up to Casa Debbio to see the amazing view.

  8. The garden looks great! Enjoy your holidays!

    • I am here to do some serious work on the garden to get it ready for the winter and to plant for spring.

  9. Divine. Gosh I bet it is great to be back

    • It is wonderful to be back and soon we will start planting fruit trees and daffodils.

  10. Beautiful photos Debra. And the garden looks so lush despite the mufloni’s attempts at pruning! You really do have a little slice of heaven at Casa Debbio. It was good to meet you and catch up with Rick and Desley in Brisbane. We’re in Melbourne now, for a two week break. Thanks again for sharing these fabulous photos. Cheers, Robyn.

    • I saw a little group of mufloni this morning, but they ran off when they saw me.

  11. What a great day to greet your arrival! … but the image of the village below with the clouds is awesome!

    • I think the view looks even better with mist and clouds.

  12. Looks fantastic Debra. As we are now retired we will have to rent Casa Debbio for a long stay! We will be in Bagni di Lucca on October 9. Only a short stay for 4 days as we are travelling with our children and partners and showing them our favourite places in Italy.

    • I will be around in October. I have breakfast at Il Monaco in Ponte a Serraglio most mornings, perhaps I will see you there.

      • We are staying with Caroline and Rod at Villa Roselena but I am sure we will get up to Il Monaco for a coffee and pastry most mornings.
        Sue & Alan

  13. Lovely – enjoy

    • I spent all day yesterday just wandering about in the wet garden.

  14. Your photos are amazing as always. I’m actually going to be in Italy in a few weeks. O hope I’ll get sunny weather too.

    • I hope so too. It has been a wet summer, let’s hope it is a fine autumn.

  15. When they were young, Dad used to wrap the lower trunk of trees in a sleeve of newspaper (against hares, which did the same) – you might give it a try against the goats? Have a gorgeous Autumn in the mountains. 🙂

    • That sounds like a great idea, thank you. I will try it with new plantings.

  16. It looks gorgeous, glad the garden did pretty well. xx

    • It did well indeed, next year will be even better.

  17. How very lovely – when you are surrounded by mist it’s as if you have the world and the mountains to yourself. Love your little bird.

    • I love the mist, but I need some sunny days to dry the garden so we can do some work.

  18. Your garden looks as beautiful in the mist as it does in sunlight. Enjoy your time in Italy Debra.

    • It is a beautiful position up in the mountains. Even in thick fog it manages to look good.

  19. Beautiful as ever Debra.

    • It is stunning up here in any season.

  20. Amazing pictures snd breathtaking views

    • I could look at the view all day.

  21. What a beautiful place to call home Deb. Your geraniums are gorgeous. I love the red variety and have pots of them everywhere. How do your leaves stay so green? Mine start off dark green and then become lighter.
    I also lived the mist everywhere, there is something so glorious about the sun and yet a rainy, misty day adds mystery doesn’t it?

    • I don’t know why the leaves stay green. I do feed them with special geranium food, maybe that helps.

      • I will look into that. I saw some at the nursery the other day. Other than that, they grow very well. Thanks Deb.
        More photos (when you can) please of your beautiful garden. It looks so peaceful and inviting, all at the same time.

  22. So beautiful. What a magical place. The cloud pictures over the village are gorgeous.

    • Vergemoli is a gorgeous village and the residents are very special.

      • I imagine. I love it when you are back in Italy. All your posts from there make me feel like I live there for a moment. Ahhh….:)

  23. I feel like you just left! Glad you are safely back at Casa Debbio. What a magical place.

    • It is magical. You must visit next time you are in Lucca.

  24. Deb, it looks like a little slice of heaven. Enjoy your time there.

  25. Your garden looks fantastic Debra!

  26. Absolutely idyllic

  27. I still remember when it was being built! That seems so long ago especially when you see these gorgeous pics!

  28. Beautiful pictures of your beautiful house. The garden looks mature already – thats quite a feat. There is’nt a season or a month when the landscape of the Bagni area becomes uninteresting, and your pictures capture it in all its beauty.

  29. Ahhhhhhh…thanks for trip to Casa Debbio today…..glad you are there to enjoy the beauty of it all and savor your hard work.

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