This edible & useful two-story balcony garden brought joy to my world.
I came across it wending my way home though Carlton's back streets, after a delightful afternoon tea at Brunettii's with Laura and Daniel. "How can I make these people my relatives" I was thinking. When Santa parachuted down.
The edibles included cherry tomatoes, basil, nasturtium leaves. Like almost every successful balcony garden, it had a filled container of water, ready to be scooped from.
If you are of Irish Catholic Stock, you too would notice the cloth Scapular of Mary, a powerful 'sacramental'.
Here Mary serves this garden in multiple ways:
- Tying back unruly vines
- A water-wise addition to Greenery
- Expresses the character of the gardens owners - probably Lapsed Italian Catholics
- Ensures that if the tree dies wearing this scapular, it will not face eternal flames (The blessed Virgin herself promised this to any wearer, hence my grandfathers attachment to his)
- Keep Evil spirits off the balcony, and possibly pests who busy themselves with baleful actions:
"One of the most remarkable effects of sacramentals is the virtue to drive away evil spirits whose mysterious and baleful operations affect sometimes the physical activity of man. To combat this occult power the Church has recourse to exorcism, and sacramentals" (The Catholic Encyclopedia., 1913, VXIII, p. 293).