Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 8, 2020

Small changes

Some restrictions have been lifted in Italy. It doesn’t make much difference to me except that I can travel a little further. I happily went down the mountain to Ponte a Serraglio and our apartment there. I replaced some of the pansies on the bridge in front of us with geraniums as I usually do at this time of the year.

I will go down a couple of times a week to water them. I was also delighted to be able to get a coffee and sfoglia from Bar Italia. I had to consume them at home, but it is better than nothing. It was lovely to see Annalisa looking positive and glad to be open.

The road back to Casa Debbio is spectacular.

At Casa Debbio Filippo has cut the grass (and weeds) on all the terraces. Everything looks neat and perfect. It is a big job and takes days to complete the whole area. He has now trimmed the rosemary plants which had become enormous. They have been covered with flowers, but now that they are finished a haircut was in order. We could not do without Filippo.

The herbaceous peonies are beginning to appear. They will come out over the next month. It is a lovely time to be in the garden.

The peony below is the first one I planted at Casa Debbio and still my favourite. It produces over 50 blooms each year. It is in front of one of the old walls of the original house.

The wisteria flowers have mostly disappeared except for these.

The pergola is now shaded by leaves.


Roses are growing.

Some beetles are eating some of the roses and rhododendrons.

Alyssum is a good filler.

Most of the acanthus plants are producing flowers.

The zucchini seeds have grown and have now been planted in the orto.

Tomatoes are growing.

The gooseberry bush is growing.

Both mulberry trees have tiny fruit.

Raspberries are growing.

The oak leaf hydrangea has small flowers. The goats, who don’t usually eat hydrangeas seem to like the oak leaf variety and a few plants have been chewed to bits.

The bleeding hearts are thriving. The leaves remind me of some of the peonies. I wonder if they are related.

A garden bed at the back of the house has been very difficult to get right. It is in deep shade in winter and can be very damp. Finally, last year, I found some plants that thrived, violets, aquilegias and something else with small lilac flowers. They come up by themselves in spring.

Some of the gazanias have survived having their flowers eaten and have grown new ones.

I spend a lot of my time watering as we have had little rain this spring which is unusual. In the middle of the day when it is too hot to water I lie on the swing chair and read, something I have never done before this lockdown. I do most of my reading on planes.

I am reading The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford. I love these books and reread them every couple of years. I can’t get interested in anything new or remotely challenging right now. There is far too much miserable news constantly coming out of TV and the ridiculous lies and conspiracy theories on social media could slowly send you mad.

No, drinking hot water will not cure the virus, neither will temperatures over 18 degrees. It would seem that Bill Gates is trying to depopulate the world by killing people using compulsory vaccinations with the evil and dastardly Dr Fauci as his right hand man. I saw one comment that said Dr Fauci found the cure for AIDS before the disease actually appeared. My son said “Wow, I would put that on my resume.” Let’s not go into what the orange idiot is saying.

I watched the super moon last night as it made its way across the sky in front of Casa Debbio. It lit up the garden in spectacular fashion making it look other worldly.

I sincerely hope that things will improve here in Italy and the rest of the world. This virus is creating havoc that will be long lasting and dreadful.



  1. Thank you for voicing my exact opinion on all those ridiculous conspiracy theories. As for that Orange Idiot, I cant even stomach listening to him. Your plants and flowers are looking so lovely—it definitely brought a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart.

    • I don’t understand why there are so many stupid things on social media. What do these people expect to gain?

  2. Your garden is so lovely. What a wonderful place to be in right now. Thank you for sharing.

    • It is a wonderful place to be. I am very grateful.

  3. If only we had a Filippo at Trullo Rosmarino! Your garden looks fabulous, the views so beautiful. I wonder when we will ever get back. Things on the move here but still so many unknowns. Stay safe and well.

    • Filippo is a treasure. We were lucky to find him.

  4. I think Italy will do better much faster than we will. Unfortunately.

    • I hope the whole world gets on top of this soon.

  5. Your garden is looking absolutely lovely. I am envious! Thank you, as always, for the photos.

    • Everything is lovely now. Sometimes I wish I could freeze frame it.

  6. I am so envious of you at Casa Debbio as I am in the UK and I have a home in Vergemoli but no opportunity to go there currently

    • What a pity. It has been a beautiful spring. Last year if rained all of May and was the coldest for 62 years.

  7. Love reading your posts Debra. Wish we had a Filippo as our beautiful garden remains unwatered. Hopefully we can get back for next spring. In the meantime we are staying occupied with Brisbane garden. Hallenges. It just isn’t the same.

    • I am happy I arrived just before things went bad, It has been great to be here to watch the garden unfold.

  8. Deb, thanks so much for sending out such loveliness. Watching your garden grow has always been one of my most favorite pastimes, and especially now to see such nature and beauty. I think we all need to turn off the false blah blah blahs and get ourselves through this on the strength that we know we have, and the wisdom that we have inside each of us. We know what we have to do, let’s do it.
    Derin G.

    • The rubbish on social media is frightening. I don’t know what the motivation is. Thank goodness for a beautiful spring in my garden. I am very lucky.

  9. Before you left Brisbane you mentioned you had a new camera & was looking forward to using it. It certainly takes great shots, but the photographer certainly has a good eye also! We always feel we are walking through a beautiful garden with you! Climate must be the same in Italy and here in Brisbane as we are very dry and hard to keep up with watering, even lawns look dry. The frog above your favourite peony has a good view

    • The new camera is not as easy to use as the old one, but the results are good. As much as I am enjoying these glorious days we need rain. It is forecast for Monday so we will see what happens.

  10. It must be great to be able to travel down to Ponte and have your usual coffee and sfoglia from Bar Italia. Everything is looking so beautiful.

    • It is good to be able to move around a bit. Sitting down at Bar Italia is something to look forward to.

  11. Hi Debra, I love “visiting” your garden. I think that flower that you are unsure of is called “columbine”. We had it in our garden here before we moved. Love your peonies! xo

    • The aquilegias are called Rocky Mountain Columbines I think. The one with the tiny flowers I don’t remember. The peonies are glorious, with lots more to come.

  12. I am reading Penelope Lively’s ‘Life in the Garden’ not a gardening book more about gardens in literature and writers’ gardens. A lovely read.

    • I can understand why people write about gardens. They are beautiful places to be.

  13. Debra, I love your posts. Your garden is stunning. Thank you for sharing the lovely pictures of Il Ponte too.

    • It was great to go back to Ponte and find some life.

  14. Lovely walls through your garden in May. My favourite month in Italy. So sad I can’t get there this year, but end of May next year has been rebooked. Love your posts.

    • Spring is a beautiful time to be in Italy. I am pleased I got here before lockdown. Watching my garden grow has been excellent. We had lots of trips planned, but that can happen next time.

  15. Your garden is an absolute bliss in all it’s abundance of blooming.

    • It is heavenly here right now!

  16. Your garden looks beautiful and the confinement seems to be easing, so there is light at the end of the tunnel….

    • It is a bit better now. Let’s hope the number keep going down.

  17. Your photos help us to imagine we are there in the thick of your garden once again. Such a beautiful place Debi. Wishing Italy and our world recovery; slowly but surely.

    • I’m hoping things are starting to get better.

  18. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely garden,I came by your blog by chance and very glad I did.It lightened my heart.Many thanks.

    • Thank you for taking the time to leave a message. This virus is bad news for the whole world.

  19. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your piece; the flowers, the scenery, and the way you walk us through your day. Thank you for the funny commentary on Covid-19, that made me laugh a couple times, but gosh, aren’t you right about all the crazy conspiracy theories?
    I look forward to more of your blogs, ciao!

  20. Oh, and Italy is so beautiful in the Spring. It is on tp of my list of places to visit next year when I can travel again.


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