Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 24, 2020

I want to freeze frame my garden

The garden here at Casa Debbio is looking glorious. Filippo has mowed the terraces again. The grass grew quickly after the last rain and a couple of days of wet weather gave the rest of the plants a boost. Everything is looking so beautiful that I want to stop it right now.

There are tiny pears on the trees, of course I want them to grow.

The raspberry bushes have flowers, soon to be raspberries.


The gooseberries are growing.

Kiwi fruit are forming.


Developing cachi, or persimmon, look like wontons.

The changeable weather doesn’t seem to have suited the cherries. Their development has stalled.

The olive trees all have lots of baby olives.

I still haven’t been able to get a photo of the gorgeous green lizards, but this fellow was happy to pose for me.

The lavender is growing bigger by the day.

Acanthus flowers are popping up everywhere.

A couple of allium I bought in Helsinki are about to open.

Filippo has built steps between the terraces to make it easier to climb up…and down.

The wisteria has finished flowering and is getting thicker by the minute.

It is a lovely place to have lunch.

The view in the early evening is stunning.


Heavenly roses are blooming. The banksia roses were knocked around badly in the rain and wind, but they are beginning to recover.

Hydrangea flowers are opening.


The flowers I really want to freeze frame are the peonies. I love them!




Not all peonies have a fragrance, but the one below has the most delicious perfume. I could hold it to my nose all day.

Some have found their way inside.


The garden bed is coming along after a slow start. Birds ate most of the seeds I planted, snails chewed through a few other things, small animals have actually slept in the bed and the wild goats like to nibble the pansies, but it is growing. Filippo cut some planters from chestnut logs and they now sit beside the bed…there can never be too many flowers.

Lockdown restrictions have been relaxed a lot. I can now travel freely within our region and eat out, with careful measures in place. It is great to have a bit of freedom after more than 2 months.

I have enjoyed morning coffee with a friend at Bar Italia in Ponte a Serraglio.

Coffee and sfoglia at Catene Cafe in Fornoli.

Dinner with friends at Circolo dei Forestieri in La Villa.


Lunch with friends at Ristorante Alfonso in Barga.

I have also been to Lucca with a friend. It was great to see people about. The shops were open and the traders were upbeat and happy to be working again. There is hand sanitiser at every door and beside every cash register, numbers in shops are limited and it all seems to be working well.
There were no crowds and people were keeping a distance from each other.  Nobody wants to go back to lockdown after sampling freedom.



  1. Thanks for sharing Debra. Your garden is beautiful. We are glad to hear that Lucca is operating again.Still have no idea when we will be able to return.

    • I am hoping to come back to Italy in autumn. First I have to get home.

  2. Garden is looking gorgeous and the upside is you are enjoying it in an intense way – looking at the positive

    • Yes, I know the garden intimately this spring. It is lovely and it has made lockdown bearable.

  3. What a stunning garden and such lovely views! Glad you are enjoying the freedom again. Here in France we are hoping to see some restaurants opening soon.

    • It has been a slow start for the restaurants. I hope things settle and they have more customers here.

  4. The garden is looking wonderful Deb. Glad to hear that you are able to move between Casa Debbio and Ponte a Serraglio and that you are now out enjoying company.

    • It has made a huge difference to be able to go out. I am still mainly at Casa Debbio, but it is nice to take small steps.

  5. Garden looks mesmerising Deb! Hope you continue maintaining it to look more beautiful.

    • The garden gets better every year. It was started from nothing 6 years ago. We are delighted with the progress.

  6. Thanks for photos Deb.Your garden is stunning. Love your table mats also! Filippo did a great job with the log planters. The peonies are so beautiful

    • Filippo is a treasure. We would not be able to manage without him.

  7. The garden is looking superb. Love the photos of roses & peonies. What fantastic views you have! It must be good to be able to go out again & catch up with friends over good coffee & food. Thanks for a great post.

    • It is great to be able to go out and lovely to come home to my beautiful garden. I am very lucky.

  8. Beautiful. The views into the distance cause a sigh.

    • They do indeed. I sometimes just stand there gazing at it.

  9. Hello Debra from Ireland…….your garden looks stunning…..I can understand why you would want to freeze frame it. Regards. Ultan. 🐼

    On Sun 24 May 2020, 06:30 Bagni di Lucca and Beyond, wrote:

    > Debra Kolkka posted: “The garden here at Casa Debbio is looking glorious. > Filippo has mowed the terraces again. The grass grew quickly after the last > rain and a couple of days of wet weather gave the rest of the plants a > boost. Everything is looking so beautiful that I want to” >

    • Hello! The best part of lockdown was being here in my garden and watching it grow.

  10. The garden is looking wonderful!

    • It is glorious this year with all the extra attention. I love it.

  11. Truly beautiful. What a place to be in lockdown! The variety in your garden Deb is fabulous.

    • The garden is enormous! This year it is especially lovely. Most of the peonies are a few years old now and they are all producing lots of flowers.

  12. Debra, lately I find myself looking forward to you posts. They are just so refreshing and makes me dream of Italy, lol. Thank you!

    • Italy is a beautiful place. I am lucky to spend so much time here.

  13. sooo beautiful

    • It is a beautiful garden. A lot of work has gone into creating it, but it is a joy.

      • How did you grow to love gardening? It’s clearly a gift but you know soooo many flowers and plants and design different areas with unique taste. Inspiring for a lil home-gardener like me.

      • I had not created a garden until this one at Casa Debbio. I had help to start the garden and it simply grew from there. Much of it has been trial and error. Finding things that thrive here and do not get eaten by the wild animals that also live here has been interesting. The wild goats and deer don’t eat peonies, lavender and rosemary so we have lots of those plants. The rest we try to manage with mixed success. We add a little bit to the garden each year. I have wonderful help from Filippo who lives in the nearby village. I could not do it without him.

  14. Wow Deb the garden looks so lovely – what a wonderful reward after all yours and Filippos hard work – enjoy

    • It is gorgeous and getting better every year.

  15. Debra, your tour through out your most beautiful garden and all its abundance of flowering and fruits to slowly ripen, make me every time very happy, it opens my heart to see all this beauty, thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you for your comments. I love to walk through the garden every morning when I wake up to see the developments.

  16. Beautiful. Should be in Italy now with my small group of clients. Hopefully next year.

  17. I admire your garden so much Debra. You definitely have a gift!

    • I am learning as I go.

  18. I love your garden! It is splendid – missing Italia and the coffee and the beautiful countryside.

    • I hope to get about a bit more now that things are getting better.

  19. Beautiful pics

    • Thank you! I have a very good subject.

  20. Your garden looks so beautiful.. Love it…

    • Thank you. I love it too. I feel very lucky to have been here for the last few months.

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