Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 14, 2020

Bad goats

Lockdown continues at Casa Debbio and will do until at least 4th May. My garden is the thing that makes this staying at home bearable. Last week I planted pansies between the new hydrangeas along the driveway.

Muffloni, wild goats, have nibbled a few since they were planted, but a couple of nights ago they pulled them all out and tossed them down the hill. They also kicked one of the logs at the edge down to the next terrace. Then one of them left the regular message in the form of a black poo on my doorstep. You have to laugh!

Wisteria is growing well over the pergola, the purple more quickly than the white.


A couple of evenings ago one of my peonies began to open.


The next day it opened along with its neighbour.




The ricotta flowers are growing. Soon they will turn creamy white.

The blue sky makes a stunning backdrop for the ginestra. The Judas tree is flowering on the top terrace.

The ginestra won’t be in flower much longer. The forsythia is already getting its leaves.

I had to buy these lovely petunias.

For lunch yesterday I made cauliflower fritters, delicious. Gardening, cooking and Netflix…lockdown continues. We had a tiny bit of rain last night so I didn’t have to spend most of the day watering.

This stunning wisteria is growing on a house in a nearby village. I drove past on my way to the supermarket last week. I hope mine is as impressive as this in a few years.

How is lockdown going for you?



  1. Beautiful images. As Italy’s stats are declining, ours still increasing … but flattening in some areas. Time will tell.

    • I hope you stay safe! Things are a bit of a mess right now.

  2. The wisteria is so pretty. And those cauliflower fritters look delicious. I’ll have to look up a recipe for those. Thanks for posting your lovely photos. Damn those mean goats!!

    • I can send the recipe to you. The goats drive me nuts!

  3. Goats seem to be Arden enemies. They do not seem to like lavender or hydrangeas. And amongst herbs, one of my favorites: sage. Chopped sage with extra Virgin olive oil is great with ravioli or cappelletti.

    • The goats don’t eat lavender, rosemary, peonies, wisteria and a few other things we plant a lot of. Rhododendrons are supposed to make them sick, but it doesn’t stop them chewing mine. They eat my roses, but mostly they seem to survive. I can’t have azaleas at all. Only one camellia has survived, the others all got eaten. We were told not to bother planting grape vines. We have to wrap the trunks of all fruit trees as they like to strip the bark…the joys of living in a forest with wild animals.

  4. Hi Debra, I am really enjoying your blogs from way up in the mountains, a place we know and love. Stay safe and well, cheers Gordon ________________________________

    • Thank you! I hope you are safe and well.

  5. Hi , what is the latin name for your ricotta flower?

    • In one of the comments below I see it is a Viburnum, sometimes called snowball tree. Mine have grown much bigger than I expected them to. We prune them each year, but they have grown tall.

  6. Stunning images, as ever. And how do you make your cauliflower fritters?? I got given a cauliflower, and I normally find them a bit boring…..

    • I will send you the recipe I found. I added peas because I like peas.

      • Oh, brilliant, thanks…my email should be on my ‘about’ page

  7. The wisteria is getting quite lovely! We are doing ok here in Pennsylvania – not sure how much longer our shelter in place order will stay in effect. But we have food, TV, books and sewing & quilting, so it’s all good ☺️

    • We have to make the best of this situation! Stay well.

  8. OH DEB your garden is such a delight to follow.It is interesting to see the changing seasons and new growth & your wisteria is so beautiful. Those awful goats, tell them if they continue like this you will be checking out recipies for goat stew.

    • I trust not!

    • The garden is a delight. I hope we get some good rain soon to make it even better. I just want those goats to go away. There is plenty of new growth out there in the forest for them.

  9. Hi Debra. A few weeks ago I asked you about your ricotta bush as I hadn’t heard of it before. Now that I’ve seen the photos though I realise it is a Viburnum. I have a huge one growing in my garden in the Southern Highlands of NSW. I think mine must be about 40 years old. It is like a huge ball far too high to prune though I do prune the sides. We call them snowball trees. It’s amazing to see in full blossom and last year we had heavy winds and it looked like it had been snowing. Thanks for the lively photos. I wonder what deters goats. Maree

    • Thank you for giving me the correct name. The plants were given to me buy a friend who called them ricotta plants. The flowers do look a bit like balls of ricotta if you squint. We tried to keep the plants small and round but they have grown very tall and leggy, not what I wanted at all. The flowers are beautiful so they can stay for the moment.
      Fencing is the only thing we could do for the goats, but the property is too big and it would cost a fortune. Deer could probably jump over a fence anyway.

      • There are quite a few varieties I think. Mine puts out long canes from the base. It must be 40 years old and is about 4m high and perhaps 5m across. It has obviously been let go by the previous owners and those long canes have become thick drooping branches. I think perhaps it needs to be cut back each year after flowering.

  10. Thanks Maree! I thought it looked a little like Viburnum. Jane

  11. The wisteria is looking so lovely. Lockdown here in WA continues as well. Our regional borders are closed and police/army are manning the roads to control unnecessary travel between regions. I am only leaving the house to do grocery shopping. We are fortunate to have the outside space to move about our block. Take care and stay safe Deb.

    • Yes, we are lucky to have a lovely space to be in right now. I am quite self sufficient and am OK with my own company. I could do with some sewing to keep me busy when the gardening is over for the day.

      • Yes I know what you mean. Sewing certainly fills in time.

  12. Such naughty goats. 😅 You have such lovely plants in your garden. 😍

    • The goats drive me crazy! The garden is looking good. We need some serious rain. The forecast says rain next week…fingers crossed.

  13. Hi Debra from sunny qld. When we were at high school together who would have though that we would be able to converse from different parts of the world!? Love your posts and garden. I’ve just planted pansies and they are coming into flower but we are in autumn going into winter. Stay safe. Look forward to your posts.
    Judy Plant nee Kelly

    • Hello Judy! It is more than 50 years ago that we were at Miami High. Time flies. It is a strange world indeed.
      Pansies are such happy little flowers. I hope yours do well.
      Stay safe!

  14. Lock down is going, had my 3rd hot meal. Looking at your photos makes it better. I had a home years ago, the same issue with our neighbours goats. They got loose and ate all our potted plants.

    • I’m pleased you like my garden. We are surrounded by forest so I expect wild animals to stroll through. This year seems much worse than usual. I don’t know why.

      • Most animals, all pets for sure, are parallel lifes. Talk to them. As if you talk to small children or yourself. They still have initiative knowledge. Find out what’s true, what’s going ti remain. Thanks for the photo abd reply.

  15. Always look forward to your post and your garden pictures…I’m thinking when we get to Italy I might need to see it in person 🙂 Take care!

    • Please let me know if you wish to come to Casa Debbio. The house is for rent in spring, summer and autumn. Maybe this year is not the right time, but things will go back to normal eventually.

      • That would be amazing… we’ve got Italy and your area on our radar for when we can travel again. Stay safe!

  16. I never tire of photos from your beautiful gardens. I did have to laugh however about the goats. Last week friends were complaining about rabbits nibbling in their gardens. I’ve linked to your post to twenty something friends of mine who I thought would enjoy reading about wild goats…maybe rabbits aren’t so bad. 😊

    • The goats seem worse this year. Usually when there are people at the house they stay away, but they are quite bold this year.

  17. I wonder if you have more goats because fewer people are in the woods during your lock down. They would stay father away if they ran into more people everyday. Sadly now that they know what a feast you lay on, they may make you part of their permanent route… my deer.

    • I think you could be correct. There are fewer people wandering about so the goats probably feel safer coming closer to the village.

  18. HI Debra we used to have a problem in our garden whenever we bought and planted pansies, petunias, etc and certain shrubs. We found out about a product we got at Bunnings called “Scat” in a spray pack. It doesn’t harm the plants etc but it did deter the possums which were a big problem here. Love your garden and can imagine your horror and frustration with goats.

    • Possums eat parsley and basil if I plant it at home. I have given up! There are possibly more goats this year because there are fewer people wandering in the forest because of lockdown. There are often walkers and mountain bike riders along the paths here.

  19. Deb, when all this is over, maybe we could have a fencing bee!

    • The property is too big to fence and the deer would jump over it anyway. I just have to put up with the wild animals.

  20. Could I have the fritter recipe too Deb? Casio Debbio is looking divine. The wisteria is wonderful; looks like a movie setting. You seem to be isolating very well.

    • I’ll send you the recipe. Isolation is just fine here at Casa Debbio.

  21. That’s good that there’s an end in sight for you. We don’t have a date for ours so people are a bit in limbo at the moment. And ricotta flowers? how interesting! I’ve never heard of those before.

  22. Beautiful images ..

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: