Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 30, 2020

3 weeks of lockdown

Apart from the occasional trip down the mountain to the supermarket in Gallicano I have been in lockdown alone at Casa Debbio for 3 weeks. Filippo comes up from the village below to work in the garden sometimes, but we keep our distance.

Watching the world on BBC world news makes me realise how lucky I am to be where I am right now. Casa Debbio is the perfect place to be away from the world. Possibly the only other place I might like to be in isolation would be a private beach where I could swim in the surf every day.

I also feel very lucky that I am here in spring. The view below me changes every day. The trees are turning green while I watch.

We have a dondola, a swing chair, that sits on one of our terraces. It is brought inside for the winter and just before lockdown, when there was a man here to work on the roof, he helped Filippo to take it outside for me. It has been put on the terrace directly in front of the house for now and I like to sit there in the morning to have my coffee while admiring the view. I am not accustomed to sitting doing nothing, but right now it seems OK.

Here is my latest pastry, delicious blueberry and ricotta.

I made a small pizza for one the other night. I make bread every few days and I kept some of the dough to make a pizza base.

The old proverb tells us that a watched pot never boils. The same might apply to peonies appearing. After almost 3 weeks of standing in front of one of my peonies 3 or 4 times a day and speaking nicely to it, the last peony has appeared. Yesterday afternoon a tiny crimson point emerged from the soil.

Yesterday I dug up the baby peonies I found all over the garden and planted them in pots where I can keep an eye on them. They would not have grown in the odd places they appeared. They are tiny and still have the seeds attached. I wonder how many will survive out of the 20 I found. Time will tell. 2 out of the 3 I planted last year have reappeared.

Forsythia is flowering all over the garden.

Ginestra is flowering.

The weeping cherry is getting its leaves.


The rhododendrons are looking great.

A gazania has avoided being eaten. Perhaps my shouting at the goats is working.

A wild fruit tree, possibly plum, has blossoms.

Wisteria is about to bloom.

It looks as though wisteria will cover our pergola this year.

One of the tree peonies has buds about to open.

Yesterday my first peony bloomed.

Today is was open more…complete with bee.


Most of the daffodils are finished, but a few are still hanging on.

The ricotta plants will soon have blooms.

We have lots of fruit trees and they are beginning to blossom and soon there will be lilacs…and who knows what else might appear. It looks as though lockdown will continue a few more weeks so I will have time to observe the developments.



  1. This pandemic is an absolute nightmare

    • It is awful! I feel very privileged to be able to sit it out at our mountain house.

  2. Lovely!! Flowers/plants help so much to dispel the reality of our situation. I feel guilty being one of few living in Barcelona who can escape to my terrace (on a warm day) to look and care for the garden I’ve created on my 50 meters of space….and sure to be my sanctuary in the coming weeks until this has passed or at least subsided for a time. Always love your fotos.

    • Thank you! I feel guilty too. I know the situation is dire for many people.

  3. I love your photos, they are lovely. Are you in Italy?

    • Yes, our house is near a mountain village called Vergemoli. It is the Garfagnana, an area near Lucca in northern Tuscany.

      • It looks gorgeous. I am a bit jealous

  4. You are, indeed, privileged to be at your mountain house, Debra 😊

    • It looks like I will be here for a few more weeks so it is just as well I like it.

      • Quite!

  5. Hi Debra. I haven’t heard of ricotta plants. I assume they have white flowers? It must be a little challenging being in isolation alone. I am in Sydney and my husband and I have been keeping to ourselves for a couple of weeks now. I’m grateful for our garden as well as it gives me some things to do and somewhere to soak up some sun.
    We all watch in dismay at what is happening in Italy. I know we all hope things turn around soon. Stay safe. Maree xxx

    • The flowers look a bit like small hydrangeas. They start of green and end up white and the do look a bit like ricotta. I can’t remember the correct name for them. They should be blooming soon.
      I hope this difficult time ends soon for all of us. Stay well.

  6. Such a lovely place. I’m glad you have a good place to be, but sad about the reason. Best wishes to you.

    • It is a sad and difficult time. I hope you are OK in your part of the world.

  7. Oh here come your fabulous 70 peony plants. Love how your garden is getting even prettier each spring as it becomes more established.
    Well done Fillipo and you.

    • The peonies bloom over a 6 – 8 week period. I love to watch them and this year I have all the time in the world to do so.

  8. Love seeing all your photos of the beautiful garden and everything coming into growth and bloom. It must be fascinating. We spent 2 hours yesterday in our garden which is small but enjoyed the time & sun hoping it kills the virus. Take care and hope all will change soon.

    • We are lucky to have gardens to enjoy.

  9. Everything looks so lovely, Debbie. Thanks for sh it with us. πŸ™‚

    • Every day there is something new in the garden. I love it.

  10. Yes, you are certainly in a beautiful spot to be in isolation Deb. It is so lovely to see the garden changing its mood every day.

    • Your garden is great too. While I am enjoying spring you have autumn…2 beautiful seasons.

  11. […] 3 weeks of lockdown β€” Bagni di Lucca and Beyond […]

  12. I agree with you. Sitting doing nothing except watching nature is a very relaxing occupation. I’m also enjoying this lockdown, but feel sorry for people who are stuck in more confined spaces.

    • It is a difficult time for so many people. Let’s hope it ends soon.

  13. Some of us are indeed very fortunate – the boat and the beautiful Queensland beaches are so beautiful and the weather has been gorgeous

    • Let’s hope this rotten virus goes away soon.

  14. You could not find a better place to spend in isolation. Enjoy!

    • I know. I hope you are OK. Spain has been badly hit. It is difficult to watch what is happening every day.

  15. Debra, don’t even have the thought of feeling guilty, you are sharing all this with us and I really loved the tour through your beautiful garden. Thank you for sharing, it makes my day.

    • Thank you! I hope you stay well and that isolation is not too difficult for you.

      • Thank you Debra for your kind reply, so far isolation here in California isn’t too difficult. Unless there are people who are acting careless.

  16. Thank you for sharing genuine insights into how life is currently there for you. I was in California when the shopping marketsdescended into madness. I wished that I was in a remote jungle then haha

    • Being in a remote place right now is a good thing. Stay safe!

  17. Hello Debra a fish person in lockdown on a mountain is almost perfect, but my sister Janine and I understand that surf beach yearning. We remember your beautiful garden, though we saw it in autunno and we wish you- and all and all the souls in lockdown in poor italia- we wish you well . Jenny R

    • Thank you. This is a tough time for many people. I feel very privileged to be able to sit this out in a beautiful place. I am aware that many are not so lucky.
      Stay well and stay at home.

  18. Beautiful pictures and lucky you!
    We, in India are also under a lock-down. Hoping the entire world recovers from this pandemic soon!!
    I have shared some posts related to the current situation..please check it out if possible πŸ™‚

    • Our lockdown restrictions have lessened, which is great. My garden was a great place to be in lockdown. I do realise I was very lucky. I hope things get better for everyone soon.

  19. Debra, your garden has absolutely beautiful blossoms, and though its summer time here ….touring your garden inspires me to tend to my garden and wait patiently for spring time to see the results πŸ™‚

    • Summer will soon begin. It has been wonderful to watch my garden daily through spring. This is the first time I have been here constantly, we usually travel around Italy in spring. It has helped me to get to know my garden very well and I am now making plans to make some changes in autumn.

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