Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 3, 2020

A new lockdown project

Lockdown continues and I am trying to stay motivated. I have to admit that I sat for quite some time on the swing chair today. It was deliciously warm and sunny and the view is marvellous.

The first red rose has appeared.

The garden on the terrace below the house is coming along.

The trees around Casa Debbio are becoming greener every day.

Peonies and verbena are growing.

Pear trees have blossoms.

The quince tree has tiny blossoms.

This tree doesn’t look much yet, but in a week or so it will be spectacular. (I hope)

The old cherry tree is starting to bloom.

If you look behind the cherry tree you will see my straw bed.

This is how it looked last year.


This year I am going to turn it into a garden bed. I doubt that I would be able to find new straw this year to redo the bed. I cleaned it up. Grass was beginning to grow out of the straw.

I had some soil delivered from a local nursery and tomorrow I will sow some flower seeds and see what happens. I have some seeds a friend gave me last autumn and I have found a few packets of seeds at the supermarket. There will be progress reports.

My pastry this morning was pear and ricotta.

I also made banana bread, which I shared with Filippo.

The lockdown in Italy is slowly having some effect. The numbers of people contacting the virus are dropping, but the lockdown will continue until at least after Easter.

Even in Vergemoli, a tiny mountain village with fewer than 100 people police patrol regularly to make sure people are not wandering outside their homes. I don’t go down to the village often. I drop my rubbish in the community bins once a week on the way to the supermarket and I went down today to collect my plants.

I am very lucky to have my garden to walk and work in.

This lovely rainbow appeared the other day.


Stay well and stay at home.


  1. wao

    Sent from my HTC

  2. Amongst the angst in Italy, your beautiful oasis continues to be amazing, Debra. Your pastries as well as your garden look superb! Stay safe x

    • It is difficult to grasp what is happening in the north of Italy when it is so quiet and peaceful here. If I did not see it constantly on the news I would not believe it.
      I hope you are OK in Australia.

  3. How lovely your garden grows Deb. The cherry and quince blossoms always herald spring and give us hope of better days ahead.
    Understand the ‘Garden Bed’ is going to be a ‘garden bed’ this summer. Looking forward to see its new floral bed cover.

    • I hope the seeds grow! If I could get to the nurseries I would be able to buy mini plants, but that may not be possible for a while.

  4. Fab garden!

    • There is something new every day!

      • Great!

  5. Let’s hope the virus continues to abate – meanwhile your garden looks lovely

    • It is quite terrifying watching what is happening all over the world. Let’s hope we learn some lessons from this.

  6. It is a highlight of my week to see your garden and hear about your life at any time, but especially in these very bizarre times. I count the days I can return to Italy.

    • I can’t wait for lovely Italy to rerun to some kind of normal!

  7. You are having a wonderful time, Deb and I am glad for you! Enjoy!

    • I am in a good place to sit this out. Let’s hope things improve soon.

  8. Thank you Debra for your updates with lovely ideas and beautiful pictures to remind us of Tuscany and Italia. We have had to put our holiday to Italy on hold in May for reasons know to All. Having said that when we do get to travel we will embrace the experience like we were doing it for the first time 🙂

    • I hope you can return to Italy soon.

  9. Beautiful photos Deb. You’re doing well in these difficult times. Stay well

    • I am lucky to be in a good place right now.

  10. Good to see the beauty of the world delivered with positivity

    • It is certainly beautiful here right now. I am lucky.

  11. Enjoyed the virtual browse around your garden, Deb. Particularly love the deep pink peony. Continue to enjoy the beauty of your Vergemoli garden. xx

    • My peonies are doing well this year and I am lucky to be here to see them.

  12. The verbena is so very pretty – like painted porcelain – and i think the garden bed in the garden bed is such a lovely idea. I have given in to your inspiration and when i shop today some puff pastry will be in my trolley. At this moment we should have been somewhere in the air bound for Italy – just as well Italy is not going anywhere!

    • The goats don’t seem to like verbena…a good thing.

  13. In spite of isolation you are able to sit & enjoy your beautiful surroundings & watch your “garden grow”. David & I would love to come and enjoy your Fab pastries.

  14. Amazing work, thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you for following,

  15. Oh My goodness I wish I could live where you are! It looks so delightful. Your banana bread looks super too.

  16. Your pics of your beautiful Spring world are inspiring to me here in northern Canada. Thanks for sharing! I’m now a follower.


  18. Your garden must be such a sanctuary at this time. I’m glad that the numbers are going the right way in Italy 🙂

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