Posted by: Debra Kolkka | September 22, 2016

Casa Debbio autumn 2016

Filippo has done an amazing job keeping our garden alive over the summer. Between the time we left in late June and when I returned last week there was no rain, so he was at the house several times a week to water the garden. Luckily we have our own spring, but it is a huge job.

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

The plants all look a bit tired and dried out after the heat, but most things have survived. Our local wild goats are now sneaking in to eat things and a porcupine has been burrowing for dahlia roots…I guess they have to eat too.

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

Even on a dull day the view looks lovely in the late afternoon.

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

The autumn colour you see in the hills is not really autumn at all. The trees are stressed from the lack of water and the leaves have turned yellow. True autumn comes a bit later usually.

Casa Debbio

I think it still looks great, but the view when we left was lush and green and I had to drag myself away.

The only flower left in the garden, apart from a few tired geraniums is this oak leaf hydrangea. The locals call this flower ricotta, for obvious reasons.

Casa Debbio

The lavender plants produced huge numbers of flowers. They are finished now, but you can see how thick they were. We lost about 6 plants to the heat, but we can easily replace those in spring. We only lost 1 of the 35 peonies, but I will plant more of those anyway.

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

There are still a few tomatoes in the garden. The goats have finished of the strawberry plants.

Casa Debbio

I love to get up early to watch the sun come up over the mountains.

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

Soon I have the job of picking all the lavender and pruning the plants…all 200 of them. There will be even more next year when we plant them along the road up to the house. I want to plant artichokes next year as well. I love the look of the plants and if you let the artichokes turn to flowers they are gorgeous.

I’ll show you some more when autumn really hits.


  1. Hi Debbie. I’m on the train heading into Lucca. See you tomorrow at 10:00 at San Michele church.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. The garden looks great in spite of the very hot weather and the losses are not huge. It has been a bad year for the gardens…but yours is still looking wonderful.

    • I know. I am delighted that it had fared so well. We have a treasure in Filippo.

  3. The views are absolutely spectacular!
    How amazing it must be to wake up to those sunrises over the mountains. La bella vita!

    • The view is breathtaking and constantly changing. I love it.

  4. Your garden looks lovely despite the drought. Who needs gardens with a view like that??!! Beautiful Italia.

    • Filippo has done amazing job to keep it all alive. This is the second extremely hot, dry summer we have had.

  5. We are a hot planet! What a fairy tale home you have! Beautiful. Thought I would add here that I met a friend of yours in Sydney when staying at the ‘Dive’ hotel, Heather Fenton (I hope I have this right). She gave us your blog. It was a very quick meeting over breakfast before she headed off to a conference). I am enjoying your blog. We love Italy and look forward to a return trip sometime. At the moment we are completing a trip to California, San Francisco, New York and Hawaii. Home soon to plan the next adventure. Cheers Christine and Doug

    • I don’t recall anyone by that name, but I am not much good with names. I hope you visit Italy one day.

  6. It looks as if your garden is coming along beautifully, despite the weather issues. Enjoy Autumn!

    • It was good that there was rain a few days before I arrived otherwise it would have looked even drier.

  7. Your garden is looking great, Debra, despite the summer heat.Would love to be in Italy now but my family has alot going on so I am stuck here in Oz. Take care.

    • It does look good, but not as lovely as in spring.

  8. The garden looks wonderful Debra. It is a worry about the goats though- they are the most destructive animal on the planet. Do people hunt them for a bit of Capra casseruola?

    • They are tiny wild goats and so far haven’t done too much damage to the garden. They are fairly skittish and stay away as long as there are people around. This sounds nuts, but wolves have been reintroduced into the forest and the goat numbers are falling. They are hunted as well. We also have deer. They eat the occasional plant and squirrels clean up all the walnuts and hazelnuts. Birds eat the cherries if I don’t get there first. We live in a forest in a national park…what can you do?

      • We have similar problems with feral animals in our garden. Birds are the main culprits when it comes to fruit, cockies, galahs, parrots- so we net most of our fruit trees each year, an onerous task. We also have wild deer – as bad as goats really. Wallabies are super destructive- although tiny, they can strip the branches off a fruit tree in no time. Kanagaroos, in drought years, will do the same. The rabbit numbers are insane. Yes, what can you do indeed. Bring back the wolves.

  9. What a treasure your Fillipo is – what a credit to him to keep your garden growing and flowering in that hot dry summer. Lovely for you to come ‘home’ to. .
    That view is just stunning.

    • We could not manage without Filippo. He really takes care of the garden as if it is his own.

  10. It all looks beautiful, Deb. Everyone should have a Filipo.

    • Perhaps we could clone him.

  11. Lovely! I love lavender. The scent is delicious.

    • Me too. I love it when I walk along the paths and the lavender brushed my legs and the scent wafts up.

      • Oh I’d be in paradise. I love opening your posts on Casa Debbio. You truly have made a magical place! Your gardens and the view are stunning Debra. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  12. The summer was not as hot as the one the year before, although as you say we had only a couple of days of rain, and then it wasn’t much. The oak leaf hydrangea was not flowering when we were there and it looks gorgeous. We picked some raspberries, and tomatoes, but sadly no figs. Fillipo was very diligent and came every couple of days and he is such a nice person. It still all looks very lovely –

    • There are some tiny figs on one of the trees now. I hope they ripen.

  13. Casa Debbio is looking positively gorgeous! Amazing how quickly the plants have grown. Well done to Filippo for his watering over summer! Looking forward to seeing more progress over the coming months.

    • I hope to plant some mulberries soon. Peaches have not done well so I will pull out the dead trees and try mulberries. Now is almost time to prune and get the garden ready for winter.

  14. […] чрез Casa Debbio есен 2016 – Бани ди Лука и Отвъд […]

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