Posted by: Debra Kolkka | June 22, 2018

Our garden at Casa Debbio

Leaving my garden at Casa Debbio to come home to Australia is difficult. After watching it grow in spring, planting, weeding and watering I have to leave it behind for the summer.

This year, after a late spring dotted with snow, hail and lots of rain, the garden grew like Topsy.

This is what the entrance to the house looked like at the end of winter.

Casa Debbio

This is what it looked like a few months later.

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

The lavender is stunning. I love to walk along the paths early in the morning with the sun shining through the plants. Before I left the flowers were almost open. One day I will be there to see them in full bloom.

Casa Debbio

The weeping cherry is doing well this year. The wild goats didn’t come this year since wolves have been reintroduced to the area and the leaves are no longer chewed off to goat height. The peonies at the start of the driveway will be finished now, but they were amazing this year.

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

The terrace below the house is looking great. We lost a few plants to the tricky weather, but the replacements will catch up soon.

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

Roses, rhododendrons, peonies, delphiniums and ricotta flowers grew beautifully.

Casa Debbio

We have several fig trees which are covered with fruit, but this one is a favourite. It was caught up amongst lots of acacia and when we cut those down is began to grow.

Casa Debbio

The frassino, flowering ash, trees put on the best show this year. The mountainsides were dotted with these gorgeous white flowering trees. They don’t bloom every year, but this year they were spectacular.

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

Last year we planted lavender along the driveway to the house. This year it is waist high.

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

Wisteria is growing and may cover our pergolas this year.

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

The area beside the house is thriving. Wisteria is growing along the fence, my favourite peonies are doing well and our tomatoes, raspberries, kiwi and gooseberries are on the way.

Casa Debbio

I prefer to leave flowers in the garden but there were so many peonies this year I picked lots.

Casa Debbio

We planted grass in front of the house this year.


Behind the house the hydrangeas and peonies have doubled in size since last year. We have acanthus flowers, wild flowers on the old walls, forsythia and the beech hedge is coming along.

Casa Debbio

Casa Debbio

The house and garden have been left in Filippo’s capable hands. We are very lucky to have him. When I return in autumn it will be time to prune the 350 lavender plants, a job that I love doing. The fragrance is delightful and I find lavender flowers in my pockets for weeks afterwards.

Casa Debbio is available for rent and we have time left this August. Next year we would like to rent the house on a monthly basis. If you know someone who might be interested pass on this post. Anyone who loves garden will love Casa Debbio.


  1. WOW Deb
    I can’t think of words to adequately describe your garden. …… Just….. ???????

    The Oxford dictionary does not suffice!!!!


    • Thank you. 6 years ago the property was covered with brambles and acacia. We have come a long way.

  2. Strolling through your garden photos brought back great memories of a beautiful home with beautiful gardens. A credit to you, Jim and the wonderful back up man Filippo. Thanks Deb.

    • I hope we have a good summer with a little bit of rain to help Filippo look after it.

  3. Just beautiful. The garden is a credit to you.

    • Thank you, we love our garden.

  4. The garden looks amazing Deb!! Well done … your creative flair and hard work results in this spectacular space! I just love the way nature gets such a move on in the Northern hemisphere … only a few short months to procreate! Jxx

    • It all seems to grow overnight. We love it.

  5. It’s looking just lovely. I hope you find plenty of people to enjoy it.

    • It is a beautiful garden and the views are amazing. I hope we find some people to enjoy it as much as we do.

  6. It is looking just wonderful. Let’s hope the summer weather is kind to it….

    • So far there has been the odd rainfall. I hope it lasts.

  7. It all looks so beautiful. You did a great job making this place look wonderful. So many amazing plants!!! I love the views on the mountains as well.

    • The garden is still a work in progress, but we are delighted with the results so far. Our view is spectacular and is stunning in every season.

  8. Your garden is really establishing itself now, it is stunning.

    • It gets better every year!

  9. Gorgeous. It’s on my bucket list.

    • It is a beautiful place to be.

  10. Debra, your garden is a paradise, there is much love and nurturing to feel.

    • Any garden is a labour of love. This is my first garden and I love it despite the work.

  11. Your Casa Debbio is just gorgeous and the garden magnificent: I am looking to buy a apartment in Bagni de Lucca and have seen Apartmento Russo, used to be a old hotel in the town: just not sure.
    Bagni de Lucca looks and reads to be a quiet interesting village. I travel to italia next June and hope to see your flowers 🌷 beside the bridge

    • We are very happy with our decision to buy an apartment in Bagni di Lucca. It has opened up a new life for us.

  12. Beautiful – I have just returned from Tuscany staying near Montaione in an Agriturismo.
    I love the look of your place- can you tell me how far it is from Pisa/ the nearest airport?

    Thank you

    • We are 1 hour and 20 minutes drive from Pisa airport.

  13. A beautiful setting indeed. Well done … and best of luck renting.

  14. Oh my goodness I’m so sorry you had to leave. We have major vacation plans in 2019, but I’ll keep your place in mind for the 2020 if it’s still available. so beautiful.

  15. So beautiful

  16. I remember when you started work on your garden. What an amazing transformation, it is just beautiful. It must be hard to leave at such a pretty time of the year but I do know you love winter in Australia.

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