Posted by: Debra Kolkka | June 8, 2021

Lots of peonies

The final work on the road to Casa Debbio is underway. Huge cement pipes have been delivered and the bit of the road that was washed away in 2013 is being dug up. The pipes to allow the water from above to flow through are being installed and soon the new surface will be put down.

This means I can’t stay at the house all the time. I could if my walking was stronger, but it is a bit treacherous right now and I won’t risk it. Fortunately Filippo is more sure footed than I am and he will take care of the garden. He lets me know when the road is drivable and I go up for short visits.

Last Autumn I pulled out some lavender that was struggling under the chestnut trees, which have grown, and now cast too much shade.
I transplanted peonies from pots along with some new ones. In the more shady areas I planted hydrangeas, some from cuttings. Everything has grown and the new garden bed is starting to look great. It will only get better. Filippo is now keen to take out some more lavender and mix things up a bit. We will wait until autumn.

I could not resist these stunning petunias. I hope they last the summer.

My peonies are beginning to open and they are stunning.

The weeping cherry didn’t get a lot of blossoms this year but without wild goats eating the leaves it is growing well.

These bright yellow flowers brighten up a little corner.

The aquilegias are still growing madly. The yellow ones are nearly as tall as I am. I admit that I am not tall, but these little treasures are at least 1.5 metres high.

I pulled the ranunculas out of the pot and have saved the roots to plant in autumn. I wonder if they will come up next spring. I put a hibiscus in their place.

The hydrangea flowers are starting to open.

On the most recent visit there were so many peonies I had to cut quite a few. Some of the plants were being completely overwhelmed with the weight of the flowers. The photos below were taken a week after those above. Lots of peonies opened in the warm weather.

Here is my table under the pergola with some of my cut flowers.

And my kitchen sink at Ponte with the flowers. I gave away bunches to my friends.

Tiny gooseberries will slowly ripen.

Roses have blooomed.

The rocky hill that was bare a few years ago is gradually being covered with acanthus, peonies, may, fotinia and rosemary.

The wisteria over the pergola will need a trim soon.

The hydrangeas behind the house are opening.

I wonder what I will find when I go up to Casa Debbio next time. We have had rain this week which will be good for the garden.




  1. Such gorgeous blooms, Debra. It’s many years since i had gooseberries. Now my mouth is watering. 🙂

    • I hope the gooseberries ripen and I get to try them before the birds eat them. I love my peonies. I want to stay and look at them all day.

      • My dad grew gooseberry bushes on his allotment in England in the 1950’s. I remember that he had to cover them snd his strawberries with netting to keep the birds off. Mom used to make and bottle delicious gooseberry and strawberry jam. Ah the memories. 🥰

  2. The garden is simply fabulous! Those peonies are gorgeous, as is everything. It’s wonderful to see all the lushness. I am jealous!

    • After such a crummy start this spring the garden is lovely. We have lost several of the new fruit trees due to the cold weather and there will be few pears and cherries this year, but the peonies make up for everything.

  3. Your garden is magnificent, Deb. especially the peonies.xx

    • Peonies are my favourite flower. I was delighted when I found I could grow them at Casa Debbio.

  4. Your garden is stunning . Monet would love it !
    Thank you for all your posts during the pandemic. They have kept me connected to Beautiful Bagni di Lucca & Beyond .
    So glad you are healing & feeling stronger. 🌸🌞🌈

    • I am happy to be on my feet again and delighted that Italy seems to be coming out of the covid mess.

  5. Your garden is wonderful Debra! As are the gorgeous peonies, my favourite flower! how lovely to be able to pick bunches of them…makes me want to travel back to Italy again!

    • I love my garden, especially my peonies. I am sorry I can’t be there more right now. The new road will be worth the wait.

  6. Garden looking stunning. My very favourite flowers are peonies. Such a short season for them in Australia, but when I see them in the florist, I always buy a bunch. Enjoy the magic of summer in the garden!

    • The season here is short too. I have several varieties of peonies so there are flowers for about 6 weeks

  7. My goodness Deb, the garden is now well and truly established. It looks gorgeous at the moment. Definitely benefited from you being there for such a long time.

    • Filippo and I got a lot of work done last year. I was stuck in a wheelchair most of this spring, but it managed without me,

  8. Your garden is a work of art. We are raining and gloomy here today. Your photos bought a lovely touch of colour. So fortunate to have Filipo; special touch.

    • We would not have this beautiful garden without Filippo.

  9. Garden looking magnificent, well done!

    • It gets better every year.

  10. Deb your garden is magnificant, we are so envious. It must be such a delight to walk around it & see all the beautiful blooms. The range of peony colours are beautiful, & the garden bed in front of the old stone wall is superb. Love all the photos.

    • I do love walking around my garden. I am amazed at how it comes alive every spring. We keep trying new things, some work, some don’t. Nature has its own ideas.

  11. You have some very lucky neighbours to be gifted such a bounty of beautiful flowers. Honestly, that is my dream bouquet colour and variety wise! How is your foot Debra?

    • My foot is getting better slowly. I can walk, slowly and not very far, but I am mobile. It has some ugly scars, but I don’t care. I am very pleased with my recovery and love being able to be out and about.

  12. Your peonies and hydrangea are lovely! My favorite flowers!

    • I love them too! The peonies are almost finished now, but the hydrangeas will be blooming for some time.

  13. I love seeing your peonies and other flowers in full bloom! Absolutely gorgeous!

    • The garden is gorgeous right now. Really hot weather has just arrived and the garden will settle into its summer state. We get almost no rain usually in summer so it is a struggle to keep things going. We put in some new watering systems to help but it is still a lot of work.

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