Posted by: Debra Kolkka | February 22, 2022

2 years in Italy

Two years ago on 22nd February I arrived in Italy thinking it would be the same as every other year. It was not, three weeks later I was in lockdown, the first of many.

Despite the difficulties I am happy to have been here all this time. I would have hated being stuck in Australia and not being able to see my garden at Casa Debbio.

We are here now and there are early signs of spring. The weather has been mild, and after several weeks of sunny days things are beginning to grow.

There are daffodils everywhere.

My hellebores have put on a great show. There are not many things that bloom in winter so these beauties are a treat.

My peonies are beginning to appear. Some are just pink shoots popping out of the ground.
The tree peonies are growing leaves and one has flower buds already. It is much too soon.

I hope we don’t get a cold March like we did last year. We lost lots of fruit trees and all of the plants were set back.

The weeping cherries have tiny buds. It won’t be long before the trees are gorgeous.

I planted a couple of old fashioned ground covers in autumn. Wild goats or deer are them immediately, but today I saw some new growth.

They also ate the heuchera plants, but there are signs of recovery there too.

Wild violets are popping up all over the garden.

Hydrangeas are growing leaves.

The ricotta plants have buds.

Pretty little snowdrops are appearing.

There are masses of periwinkles under trees behind the house. I have been pulling some up and replanting them up in places where I want them.

The weather has been mixed. The view from the house changes constantly…I love it.

If the weather stays warm and we get some good rain I will be able to show you all these lovely things in full bloom.


Covid restrictions still apply here. We need to wear masks indoors and a green pass is necessary to get into many businesses. The number of people with covid seems to be dropping so let’s hope the restrictions will ease soon.

I wrote many posts during the lockdowns here since March 2020. You can see them by looking in the “Lockdown in Italy” category.

Here are a couple of early lockdown posts.

Lock down in Italy

Lockdown continues

3 weeks of lockdown



  1. How lovely to see start of new life in your garden. Daffodils are such a happy colour. Weather conditions make gardening either a joy or heart breaking. We are having lots of rain here in Brisbane ( it tends to be all or nothing). Enjoy your Spring.

    • Last year spring was a disaster for the garden. I’m hoping this year will be better. We have to take what comes.

  2. Looking forward to seeing it in bloom.

    • It is fabulous, especially my peonies.

  3. Always bright and beautiful when you post your gardens. Love the happy yellow daffodils especially.

    • I love my daffodils, they get better every year.

  4. I’m glad you have been there to share your garden and journeys 🥰

    • Me too! Despite some of the crummy times I have been happy to be here.

  5. A wonderful place to endure lockdown. Divine daffodils. The animals have done a great job with pruning 😬. Look forward to future Spring photos. Stay well!

    • If these warm days keep up the garden will be looking great in no time.

  6. Thanks for sharing Debrah . Perth had its own lock down ( lockout)
    We have had a relatively easy time. People either love or hate our premier.
    I have booked to go to US in May..

    • Enjoy your travels!

  7. Lucky you, I say, being locked down in Italy for two years. The lockdowns here in Australia have been very tough. Can’t wait to get back to Italy again, hopefully soon. Enjoy spring. So beautiful.

    • The severe lockdowns here were very grim for a lot of people. I was lucky to have a garden. It must have been awful to be shut in a tiny apartment with no outside space.

  8. Well, you made me do a double take when you showed a photo of the “ricotta plants” starting to bud. A search online gave me no joy. Can you describe (or show) what it looks like in bloom?

    If things in the Ukraine accelerate, Covid might take a back seat.

    • They are called ricotta here. I think they are called snowball in other places. I will try to send you a photo.

      • Thanks.

  9. Beautiful time of the year

    • I love it when things begin to grow.

  10. I guess it was difficult, but to be confined like this, under the circumstances, is not bad. And you had your garden to enjoy!

    • At times the days seemed to drag by, especially when I broke my ankle, but now it feels as though it has flown past. I feel very lucky to have been where I am.

  11. I was wondering what the current situation in Italy was so interesting. We aren’t required to wear masks which seems crazy since our numbers are still significant. Your garden is an absolute dream Debra!

    • After all this time I still manage to leave home without a mask. I usually remember as I cross the bridge so I trudge home to get one. I hope covid leaves us alone soon.
      I have been planting things in the garden today. I even managed to find a spot for another peony.

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