Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 24, 2021

Walking in the rain

I can walk and I can drive and it is still raining. I am delighted with my progress! I have just one more hospital visit to have the last stitches out and then I am done. I have my freedom back and it feels great.

I was able to drive up to Casa Debbio on the weekend. Work continues on the road to the house but the kind workmen move their equipment when work is done so that I can drive up to the house. I would not be able to walk that far yet. They should be finished in the next few weeks and I will be able to show you our new road.

It was lovely to wake up to a misty morning at Casa Debbio.

The sun did come out and I was able to plant a few things. It was great to be able to walk around the garden and see all the things I have not been able to get to for the last 2 months.


My herbaceous peonies are mostly still buds.

Ants love peonies. They are attracted by the sticky nectar, but don’t seem to hurt the flowers.

This time last year at this time they looked like this.

One peony on a new plant has bloomed.

The hydrangeas behind the house have no flowers yet.

Last year they looked like this.

The area at the back of the house was a difficult area to get right. It is damp and shady all winter then it is in full sun in summer. It is finally working well. The aquilegias have self seeded and have grown wild. I love it when plants come up all by themselves each year.

Last year it looked like this.

The sambuco trees are covered in flowers.

Acanthus and wild daisies are doing  a good job covering a slope.

Photinia and beech hedges have grown without the wild goats around to eat them this year. At least one has returned this week and ring barked the new magnolia tree. I hope it survives.

Wisteria has covered the pergola well, but there were few flowers this year.

Last year it looked like this.

I never tire of this view.

The roses in front of the house are blooming finally.

Every year is different in the garden. This spring has been disappointing, but the garden still look lovely. Filippo has done a wonderful job of taking care of everything this year. I have been no use at all.

I am now back at Ponte a Serraglio and it is raining again. I planted new flowers on the bridge and a miserable skunk has come along and stolen some. I hobbled out in the rain today to replace them. Someone does this almost every year. I wish I could catch them at it.


  1. I saw the back yard for the first time! And it is spectacular. And it’s good that you are back up in the hills and are getting strong. Switzerland has had a wet spring, too…… Wouldn’t it be nice to see each other’s new homes!
    Stay well . Love, Sondra

    • The sun will eventually come out to stay. The flowers will bloom and all will be good.

  2. Well done with progress

    • I am very happy to have my freedom back.

      • I’m sure!

  3. Happy for you Deb that your progress has been great. Garden looks great to me ….but then you post last year’s photos. But it is still so beautiul ,,,,much better than what we can grow on GC. Stay safe and well.

    • The garden is lovely and I am happy to be able to walk and work in it after being stuck watching from the sidelines. My ankle is getting better every day.

  4. It was interesting to see the differencebetween this year & last year. Weather plays a huge part in gardening. But your garden now is still so interesting. We can only imagine your joy in being able to drive there & to walk around. So wwell done.

    • I am happy that being stuck in a wheel chair is over. Some days were very long indeed and I was lucky to have help and company. Watching the garden was great, but also frustrating.
      Every year is different. Last year wild goats chewed lots of things, this year cold weather ruined things. Who would be a farmer?

  5. Stunningly beautiful gardens. Best time of year for colour.

    • Spring is beautiful at Casa Debbio. The surround trees are the most gorgeous shade of green. I love this time if the year even if the weather is not the best.

  6. So pleased you are mobile again and enjoying driving up to Vergemoli to check out and work on the garden. Hope the Peonies really put on a show soon for you. Otherwise it’s looking beautiful anyway.

    • It is great to be on my feet. I was very slow at first but it gets better every day. The sun will come out and the peonies will eventually bloom.

  7. Hi Debra, your garden looks great with all the lush greenery and the flowers that have bloomed so far. That bright pink peony is stunning. Good to hear you’re recovering well and getting out and about. Maybe you should set up a camera to catch the ‘skunk’ who keeps stealing the flowers from the bridge! Happy gardening,
    Robyn in Brisbane

    • I love my peonies! There are lots of buds and the sun will come along to help them to open. It is amazing how different the garden is every year. Considering we started with brambles and acacia it is incredible.

  8. Even not doing as well as last year, the garden is seriously lovely. I’m so happy for you that you are up and around and have some freedom! Thank you for sharing your photos of Casa Debbio and Ponte. I miss Bella Italia! Keep safe and well.

    • The garden is a delight, even though some of it is disappointing. It is wonderful to be out and about again. I hope you can visit us here again one day.

  9. Glad to hear that you are recovering so quickly, but please be careful.
    The garden looks beautiful in spite of the weather.
    Take care!

    • My walking is more of a slow shuffle, but I am happy to be on my feet. I am very careful. I would hate to go back to a wheelchair!

  10. Great for you to be able to walk and drive and throw the wheelchair. One week till I am permitted to drive and I am looking forward to not having to ask friends to take me shopping. My hip is good but I still walk with a limp – need to retrain myself to walk properly after walking with a limp for more than 10 years.
    Your peonies are beautiful.

    • My walking is slow and not very steady, but I can walk. Being able to drive is excellent. I am venturing out and am going to Florence next week for a couple of days before it gets too hot.
      Keep practicing and you will lose the limp.

  11. Good news you are up and about. The gardens look great to me and the new road will be a big plus. Would love to rent at one time, hopefully when we can return. Enjoy your new freedom!🇮🇹🇦🇺

    • The new road will be great. Part of the road was washed away in a huge storm in 2013. It is only used by us and woodcutters, but is a state road. One of the woodcutters partially rebuilt the damaged part and our very good mayor finally got the funds to fix it properly.

  12. Glad to hear you are getting about, sure progress will now be steady. The garden looks wonderfu. l

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