Posted by: Debra Kolkka | June 17, 2020

Down the mountain

I have left Casa Debbio for a while. We welcomed our first guest for the summer and I have moved down to our apartment in Ponte a Serraglio. I have a different view for the next few weeks.

I will miss the view from Casa Debbio, but it is time to do other things.

These are the last photos from Casa Debbio until I return.

Some of the flowers on the lavender plants bloomed.

The hydrangeas are a riot of colours behind the house.

A couple of the oak leaf hydrangeas have managed to avoid being eaten and are growing flowers.


Some hydrangeas have moved inside.

The Daphne is covered in tiny flowers.

Filippo and I have been watching this plant to see what type of flowers were going to appear. We won’t be finding out this year. The goats delicately ate every pea sized bud off every stalk.

I don’t know the name of these bushes, but the yellow flowers they produce last through summer.

The fruit trees on the terraces behind the house are growing fruit. We have pears, apples, persimmons, quince and pomegranates. There are more trees on terraces below the house too. We have lots of fig trees. It remains to be seen if the fruit does well. Too much rain and not enough sun is not a great mix…who would be a farmer? The weather rarely seems to be just right.

The olive flowers are doing well on some trees.

The kiwi vine has flowers.

The cool, wet weather meant that some cherries ripened and are now being eaten by birds. Most split because there was too much rain recently…there is always next year. Unfortunately the damp means that some of the cherry trees, including my stunning weeping cherries have a fungus and their leaves are dropping. I hope the sun comes out soon and saves them.

The acanthus have produced dozens of flowers and the bees love them.

Some small pockets of garden are doing well.

The vegetable garden is producing eggplant, gooseberries, rocket, wild fennel and the tomatoes are growing. The goats ate the strawberry plants and keep nibbling at the raspberry plants and have eaten the zucchini plant.

Filippo found some wild parsley growing.

The pergola is the perfect place to eat lunch.

Angela the cake stand has had another outing.


The scarecrow, who is nameless, has a new outfit.

The garden bed has had mixed success. It is totally sodden with the rain and the flowers the goats haven’t chewed have been eaten by insects. Some warmer weather might improve things.

Just before I left Casa Debbio I managed to get a photo of one of our stunning bright green lizards. He was snoozing in the sun on a wall and stayed long enough for me to run inside and get the camera.

At Ponte a Serraglio I will be doing other things, no goats to worry about for a while. We have an excellent fruit and vegetable shop here at Ponte a Serraglio. I bought some zucchini flowers and stuffed them with ricotta for my first lunch here…life is good.

I will miss Casa Debbio, my garden and the views. It was the perfect place to be for lockdown. I hope the weather improves soon, I am completely sick of the rain! Maybe a day in Florence is needed.

I’m sure our guests will enjoy the house as much as we do. I will be back there in August.


  1. Deb, Tho there was a too much rain and not enough sunshine and the naughty goats are a pest, the garden looks wonderful. Love the photos and know the house guests will appreciate every detail. Does the well dressed resident scarecrow, Miss Peony, get a new dress each season?

    • She has had her first change of outfit this year. I hope she likes it!
      I am on the train to Florence for a complete change of scenery!

  2. It’s absolutely gorgeous!

    • Casa Debbio is in a beautiful place and despite the wild animals and the awful weather recently the garden is thriving.

  3. What amazing weather and the trees/flowers. Wow. Postcard perfect.

    • I have enjoyed my last few months at Casa Debbio. It is time to do other things, but I will be back in a while to tend the garden.

  4. Hi Debra, adore your photos and stories. When it the Casa Debbio cookbook being released? xx

    • I did a lot of cooking during lockdown when there was not a lot else to do. Now I am enjoying eating out again.

  5. I just love the images here Deb!! What a magnificent place to experience and paint!!

    • It would be a great place for an artist. There are many beautiful things to inspire a creative person.

  6. Hi Debra, as usual your posts filled all the natures abundance are such a delight for me to see. Some of the flowers we have as well here in Southern California, like the acanthus ( I didn’t know the name until you just learned from you), indeed always surrounded by bees, those yellow flowers are growing here as well, but I do not know their name. Enjoy your time down in the town, I am sure you enjoy to be more with the locals. Ciao. Cornelia

    • It is nice to be among people again. I enjoy crossing the bridge each morning for coffee at the local bar.

  7. Heaven on earth! Should have been in Tuscany now. Not till next year now.

    • The virus has disrupted many travel plans this year. If my February flight had been just a couple of weeks later I would not have been able to travel to Italy. Now it is difficult for me to fly home so I have decided to stay in Italy. I should have been flying home on Saturday. I’m sure I won’t have any trouble occupying my time here.

  8. Oh, your garden is so fabulous! And I love your scarecrow. Your stuffed zucchini flowers look, and i’m sure were, delicious.

  9. Yes Debra who would want to be a farmer. It is too much rain or they look to the sky in hope. Love the photo of your green lizard, what a brilliant colour. Am sure you will miss Casa Debio & we will miss your photos of brilliant garden but we look forward to seeing more photos.PS The stuffed zuccini blossoms looked delicious.

    • I will miss Casa Debbio but I am looking forward to travelling a bit. Now that lockdown is over I can go places.

  10. I want to pack my bags and hop a plane and have coffee on the terrace. As a retired photojournalist, I appreciate all the beautiful photos.

    • Let me know when you want to come to Casa Debbio!

  11. Sorry Debra I know it is “Casa Debbio”.

  12. Is that your new view in the first photos? very nice!

    • Yes, the first 2 photos are taken from my balcony.

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