Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 12, 2015

Waiting for spring at Casa Debbio

I am at Casa Debbio waiting patiently for spring, to begin planting the terrace below the house.  I am also waiting for Rocco and Filipo to build a low fence which will form part of the new garden.

Here is my sunrise this morning.

sunrise at Casa Debbio

We are 600 metres above sea level here, so it is a bit cooler than Bagni di Lucca. There are few signs of spring in the forest around Vergemoli.

Vergemoli in winter


Vergemoli in winter

If you look closely though, there are signs. This may not look like much to you, but I am thrilled to see it.

magnolia bud

It is a bud on my magnolia tree in front of the house. We cut the pine trees last year and I planted the magnolia in the hope it will eventually supply shade over the terrace where we have lunch.

I love mufloni, the tiny wild goats that live in the forest around us, but the little devils have eaten all the leaves of my camellia and have been picking at the rhododendrons. I will have to fence the plants until they get a bit bigger.

mufloni eat camellia

I wish my bright bird would frighten the goats.

Casa Debbio bird

My wild daffodils have come up.

wild daffodils

The ones I planted are appearing.

my daffodils

Some tiny ones have appeared in a pot. (I forgot about these)

my daffodils

Here are some of the plants I have started buying for the new garden. I am going to need about 100 lavender plants, some azaleas, roses, peonies, hydrangeas and anything else that will fit into my pink, lilac and white theme…there is some work to do.

my new plants

This afternoon I watched a bright orange helicopter, that looked like a dragonfly buzzing around, fly backwards and forwards to the river below Vergemoli. It seemed to be picking up long poles and delivering them somewhere in the mountains.


It isn’t much of a photo, but it took a slightly different route each time and would appear where I wasn’t expecting it.

Buds are appearing on my fruit trees and my weeping cherry is about to flower…I can’t wait to see that.

weeping cherry

I will show you the transformation that will happen here in a couple of weeks.

Casa Debbio terrace

This terrace behind the house will turn green any day now. The hazelnut, chestnut and cherry trees will have leaves and blossoms. There will be a carpet of blue flowers and lots of wild flowers. My neighbour tells me that people have been find truffles all over our area. Maybe we will find some.



  1. Good to see Spring signs on the way, i bet your garden will look fabulous Deb!
    We’ll be over for Easter, can’t wait….

    • You will have to come up to see Casa Debbio. By Easter everything should be green.

  2. It must be so beautiful there in the Spring! I love the pictures. No flowers here in Indiana yet, but hopefully soon.

    • By this time last year the blue flowers were everywhere and my peonies had begun to sprout. No doubt it will all happen soon.

  3. The sunrise is gorgeous. I am so pleased that I have visited Casa Debbio as I can picture your plans. Do you still have all the lavender down the side of the drive or does that die in winter

    • The lavender on either side of the driveway is still there. I cut it back at the end of summer and it has just had another haircut as it can get a bit straggly. It lasts through the winter and new leaves are just beginning to appear.

  4. Looking wonderful Deb, even in the early stages of Spring……

    • I like the winter landscape, but I am very keen to see what has survived from last year and to see things grow again.

  5. You are going to be very busy, Deb!

    • There is a lot to do, but I have help. Filipo will be here soon to help with the planting.

  6. Oh glorious Deb! Those magnolias are going to give you much more than shade…..beautiful branches of pink blossoms + a heady scent. What a great choice for the terrace.

    Beautiful post….lovely to see your plants before they’re embedded…..and can’t wait for the planting to begin. What’s that lovely little silvery plant? Could be good for mine do you think…..remember I’m having green, black and white colour scheme. So I’m on the lookout for a lovely little silvery shrub. I’ve also decided on white hydrangeas for my shady garden at the side….we’ll be able to compare notes!!!!!!

    Enjoy the planting with Rocco and Filipo…..praps we’ll have a photo of you all in the garden next post???



    • The silvery plant is lavender. It doesn’t do well in Brisbane as it doesn’t like humidity. I have tried to grow it without success.

  7. What a lovely time to be in the garden… life appearing every day. Enjoy.

    • It will be great to see the new terrace planted. I think it is going to look wonderful, but probably not until next year. I would like an instant garden, but that just doesn’t happen unless you are on one of those silly renovation shows.

  8. Great to see Spring arriving. Enjoy Deb.

    • The days are warm and sunny, perfect conditions for new growth.

  9. Good luck with the new planting.

    • Thanks, I think it is going to look great.

  10. A very exciting time, Debra. Looking forward to seeing the blossoms and the blue flowers. 🙂

    • The blue followers were already out this time last year. It must have been a bit warmer.

  11. So lovely to see hints of Spring everywhere…Your photos are wonderful….I love the change of seasons. It is Autumn here in Sydney, such a lovely time of the year! All those plants …Magnolias,Azaleas, Roses, Peonies, Hydrangeas and Rhododendrons grew in my garden in the Blue Mountains too….can I suggest one Magnolia worth it’s weight in gold is the variety ‘Como’ a gorgeous compact, perfumed white multiflowered tree…one begins to wonder how the rest of the garden is complete without it!…it is by far the ‘star’ of the show!
    Thankyou for your inspirational post.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. My magnolia is the deciduous type, but we do get the grandiflora here. I will look out for “Como”. I have seen “Little Gem” in Brisbane, also a compact variety. I wonder if agapanthus will grow here. I walk around the village regularly to see what grows there.

  12. Slowly but surely…it’s coming. The potted flowers are beautiful. What a lovely life you’ve created, Deb.

    • The garden gets better every year. I think it has about 2 years to go before it is where I want it to be.

  13. Beautiful photographs… I love this amazing place dear Debra, and how nice Spring time… Thank you, have a nice weekend, love, nia

  14. Signs that the season is upon us!

  15. Beautiful pictures. I especially like the hint of spring. Here in Canada, we will ahve to wait another 4-6 weeks.

    • Leaves are beginning to appear on trees, it won’t be long now. Rain is forecast for the next few days, maybe that will help.

  16. Your pictures are enchanting – it really looks like spring is near!

  17. Exquisite

  18. Your photos tell it all. Enjoy Debra x

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