Posted by: Debra Kolkka | August 7, 2020

A quick visit to Casa Debbio

My first guests of the season, who have been at Casa Debbio for 8 weeks, left yesterday and I had more people arriving today so I got to visit the house to do the change over. Between washing, ironing, cleaning and watering the garden I got to see my garden for the first time in high summer.

The lavender is huge! Filippo told me it has lost colour in the last couple of weeks because of the extreme heat. He said it was also standing up a bit straighter then too. I think it looks great, thanks to his loving care.

The fragrance is divine and it is full of happy bees.


The lavender on the driveway brushes the car as you drive through.

The hydrangeas behind the house have finished but the oak leaf hydrangea in the driveway is still flowering.

This blurry photo is one of the new ones on the driveway. I am very happy with the progress.

The view from the front door over Vergemoli always makes me happy.

Evening at Casa Debbio is glorious, especially when Sisto plays his music. He had his tango set on last night.


Here is the same scene this morning as the sun began to shine on Vergemoli below.

…and in the middle of the day. Could it be any lovelier?


The little vegetable garden is guarded by our scarecrow. She is not great. We got no raspberries because the goats ate them, but we do have a few tomatoes, egg plant, rocket, parsley and zucchini. The gooseberries did well but have all been eaten.



The garden bed has had a rough trot. The wild animals won’t leave it alone. It has been chewed, climbed on, dug into and generally been treated as a feed trough. It will need a rethink next year.

Some of the roses are still blooming.


Some of the pear trees are laden with fruit and there are plums. Filippo is watering the fig trees because he knows I love them. They should be ripe in a few weeks. I didn’t have time to climb up and down the terraces to look at the fruit trees, maybe next time. I saw 2 deer and a squirrel on the way out…there goes some more garden.

I will be back next week, even more briefly, for the next changeover. Then after that I am hoping it will be all mine for a while…can’t wait.


  1. Beautiful!

    • It is lovely at Casa Debbio, especially in the cool of the evening.

  2. Wow, that is amazing! I can just imagine the heavenly smell amongst all the lovely growing things. And how wonderful you have guests – I envy them.

    • The lavender smells wonderful and there is so much of it!

      • Hope you make lots of lavender bags!

  3. I remember the garden at the beginning of Covid lockdown, it’s still going strong. So beautiful!

    • It is interesting to watch the garden change. We have some autumn plans to build new areas…can’t wait.

  4. What a heavenly spot you have created Debra.

    • The garden is a delight. May is my favourite month when the peonies are in bloom. I could happily sit and look at them all day.

  5. Debbie. Your garden if gorgeous. Worthwhile getting stuck there in Italy in the height of summer!!!!

    • The garden gets better every year. We have some plans for improvements in autumn when we will make some new areas. I think 1 summer will be enough for me, but it has been great to see what works and what doesn’t.

  6. It looks wonderful. We all need your garden style, not to mention a loan of Filippo!!!!

    • Filippo is great. We work together well and he takes care of the garden as if is is his own when I am not there.

  7. I can’t believe how big the lavender is now. Great to hear that you have a few more bookings for the year.

    • The lavender on top of the wall is huge. There is much more below the house, but I didn’t have time to do a full tour.

  8. How beautiful! It must be wonderful for you to have seen your garden in all seasons and how lucky are you to have Filippo to look after it . I can imagine the perfume as you brush past the lavender. You have created an inspirational garden At Casa Debbio

    • The perfume is wonderful. I have picked lots for inside the house as well.

  9. My goodness, that is like a beautiful film set and i can almost hear the bees in the lavender. I love the sound of industrious bees. We have our own bee hive and i enjoy planting for their foraging satisfaction. I know it’s been uncomfortably hot there but I’ve very much enjoyed your walking adventures – your research is appreciated!

    • There are all types of bees in the garden, from tiny ones to the big bumble bees. I love them.

  10. Your garden is looking wonderful Debra. I’m enjoying anything Italian vicariously this year whilst locked down in Victoria. Beautiful photos!

    • This year has been a disaster in so many ways. Casa Debbio was a great place to be locked down and the garden is a delight.

  11. A true delight, I can almost smell that glorious lavender, even from afar in Sydney. Vicarious pleasures only of Italy this year. Fingers and toes crossed for next year. I can’t break to be away from our Italian home for more than that. But am enjoying your travels and pictures very much.

    • The lavender that grows on the high wall is the best. It has quite a different fragrance from the rest. I absolutely love it. I hope you can travel next year. I am resigned to being here for some time yet.

      • If you have to be somewhere, I’d think you’re pretty much better off in your homes in Toscana, and in Italy, where there is still so much of great beauty to see and visit. In some ways I’m sorry we’re not there. Are you still separated from your husband by this pandemic?

  12. Your gsrden still looks an utter delight & how lucky are you to have Filippo to carry on when you are away, he obviously loves it like you. It may have been a very hot summer but the garden is still growing beautifully.

  13. PS I forgot to say it must be great to hear Sisto’s music coming up in the evening.

    • I love it when Sisto plays his music. I stay out in the garden as long as it is playing.

  14. What a delight your garden is. I’m a long time follower of your amazing site. I live in Lazio and I’m quite new to gardening in Italy. I’m desperately trying to grow a few roses. Would you mind telling the name of that beautiful pink rose at Casa Debbia. Many thanks.

    • I wish I could tell you the name of the rose, but I planted it years ago and I don’t remember. It is an old fashioned rose with a fragrance. I have seen it in a few gardens so it must be relatively common. It is tightly packed with white petals on the outside.

      • Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. I will go on a hunt and if I find some info on an old fashioned pink climbing rose with a scent I’ll let you know. Stay well and enjoy every minute in your magnificent garden.

  15. Hi Deb,

    I really enjoyed your last two stories on the blog, haven’t replied sooner as I’ve been struggling to make anything matter much…..There’s so little to be cheerful about but…. the garden at Casa Debbie is simply stunning… lush and full, so colourful and the glorious green views everywhere xx

    You will have such a super time in the Autumn getting the garden ready for the winter…that will keep you fit and well!!

    So good to hear you are safe and well.
    Best love, Jan xx

    Sent from my iPhone

    • I am looking forward to some cooler weather so I can enjoy being out in the garden again.

  16. Hello, I have contacted you before asking questions. I would like to travel to Italy alone for 3 months… do you have a bedroom I could rent for 3 months and use it as a base ? Doesn’t have to be decorated… just so I feel safe until I find my travelling feet ?

    • I will send you an email.

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