Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 10, 2021

Lockdown and lavender

Right now in Tuscany we are an orange zone. This means we are not to leave our community area, bars and restaurants are open only for takeaway. Shops are open and we can move freely in the comune, while wearing masks and keeping our distance.

This might change on the weekend when our area could become a red zone, bringing tougher restrictions. We will almost be back to where we were this time last year in the first severe lockdown. Stay home unless you are buying food or there is an emergency.

It will make little difference to me here at Casa Debbio but I feel for others whose jobs and businesses will be disrupted again. I wish the vaccine rollout would move along a bit more quickly.

The sunny weather has continued and my garden is growing. My beautiful lavender looks dead. I was worried that the heavy snow killed some of the plants.

If you look closely the tiny green leaves are starting to appear. They should all come to life soon.

I bought some ranunculas at the nursery recently. They looked so pretty I could not resist them. They are now in a large pot near the front door so that I can enjoy them regularly. I have no idea how long they will last or whether they will become goat or deer food.

The Daphne plant was damaged but it seems to be growing some tiny flowers.

These pretty daisies will be planted soon.

We are putting in a watering system and Casa Debbio has been a hive of activity. We have a spring on our property which supplies all our water. In summer the water flow slows a lot so we are putting a storage tank below the spring and a new pump to get the water to the garden.

It was interesting watching it being manoeuvred through the garden. I couldn’t watch it being lowered into place.

As well as this, a large area of brambles have been cut down. The heavy snow flattened it, making it easier to chop out. Several trees which had been damaged by the snow went too. I am never happy to see trees go, but they will be replaced as soon as the clearing is finished. The old terraces below the house will be restored. It is going to look great when things start to grow again.

As if all that isn’t enough, the road up to our house from the village is about to be repaired. There was a huge storm in 2013 which washed an old aqueduct and part of the road down the mountain. I had to jump over a waterfall until a friend put a couple of planks for me to walk across. Eventually the woodcutters, who use the road, rebuilt it enough so that we could drive again.

The road is very narrow in parts and the comune is stepping in to rebuild it. We are delighted and the disruption which will happen shortly will not bother me at all. I may have to walk up from the village for a while…it will be worth it.

All this activity is keeping me busy. I will hardly notice the possible new restrictions.


  1. Good to hear you are self sufficient

    • I admit to being heartily sick of covid. I want this to be over. Who would have thought that a whole year later we would still be stuck at home. Bring on the vaccine!

      • Well, we’re all fed up, I’m in an at risk category, so not good….but it is a pandemic, which we have not seen the likes of in our lifetimes

  2. Who would have thought you would have such a long solo stay there, I hadn’t realised COVID was still spreading in Italy. We shut down when one case of community transmission occurs….very difficult for those in businesses.

    • It has been a long year! I feel as though I am just marking time, constantly waiting for something to happen. Please let it be over soon!

  3. Nice to see the garden is coming back to life. The ranunculus are looking so bright and cheery. We remember the major damage to the road in 2013. Great to hear that the commune are going to do an upgrade on it and improve access for you and your guests. Take care.

    • And that is a very impressive water tank!

      • The tank is a beauty! We are delighted that the road will be fixed and be better than before. There are a couple of scary bits.

  4. Hi Deb that certainly is a BIG water tank. It must have been impressive seeing it put into place. With all the restrictions it is great you have so much to do in the garden and also watching new growth plus all the plans you have. Love the ranunculas – the range of colours just make the garden look brilliant. Take care & enjoy seeing your garden grow.

    • Today is cold and rain is expected, so no work today. I have lit the fire and will spend the day inside sewing. My weeping cherry trees will be in blossom by next week I think. This is a lovely time of the year.

  5. Such a lot of exciting activity in your garden. Having the water tank will give a lot of peace of mind through dry times. Your ranuculus look like little peonies- how very pretty they are. I’m so sorry the covid restrictions are so severe and i do hope, for your sake and everyone else in the world, that the rotten thing subsides in the near future.

    • I wish the vaccine rollout would move along more quickly. It is our only hope of getting out of this mess. Thank goodness for my garden right now.

  6. This has been a terrible year and we all hope and pray it will be over soon.
    The ranunculus look beautiful!

    • I have had enough, along with everyone else! At least my garden is keeping me sane.

  7. So lovely to add some pops of colour! Those ranunculas certainly do the trick! Sure hope your daphne plant comes back ok. We are just getting the roll-out of vaccines started here too and feel like we are so behind…guess you are in the same situation. Fingers crossed for all of us!

    • The vaccine rollout is going very slowly. I can understand it to a degree here in Italy, but Australia has no excuse. There is a relatively small population, a good healthcare system, why is it so slow?

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