10 December 2022

Church’s garden tea cosy takes top prize

The prize-winning tea cosy adorning Brewster the tea pot. Picture: Katrina Philip.

Jenan Taylor

31 May 2022

A group of church gardeners are celebrating after their knitting project created during the COVID lockdowns scooped a prize in a craft festival.

A tea cosy made by the gardeners from St John’s Riverside Community Garden won the judge’s prize at the Fish Creek tea cosy festival.

The group had knitted the tea cosy during the lockdowns for Brewster, a metallic sculpture of a tea pot that sits in the community garden.

St John’s Banyule gardening coordinator Katrina Philip said the tea pot was used to compost the oak leaves that fall from trees around the church, and to “brew compost tea”.

Ms Philip said the idea for the tea cosy began when the parishioners and local community members who partner with the church in the garden, decided Brewster needed to be adorned.

“We thought we could all knit squares and make a tea cosy. We thought it would be something to bond the community when no one could see each other, and that it would be something creative to do particularly for the older parishioners,” Ms Philip said.

She said several people knitted and then fashioned the squares into a tea cosy that would be brought out for ceremonial occasions. 

They’d decided to enter it into the Fish Creek tea cosy festival on a whim and were thrilled when it won the judge’s prize.

St John’s Riverside Community Garden’s tea cosy at the tea cosy festival. Picture: Katrina Philip.

Situated just inside the Yarra Trail, the tea pot is visible to walkers and cyclists who then often visit the garden, Ms Philip said.

The garden itself was established on the site of the church’s old car park about eight years ago, and had now also taken over a tennis court, she said. 

Ms Philip said members grew vegetables and flowers, and could plant whatever they wanted.

“It hasn’t been a Rolls Royce garden so it’s meant that people have felt comfortable to try a bit of this and a bit of that.”

She said the space also had a number of art installations, and that a beekeepers club used it for training.

She said membership had grown as the garden evolved, and that people loved to visit in the evenings, in particular.

 “People come and sit in the garden just to have their coffee and chat, and then some might reminisce about when they were married in the church,” Ms Philip said.

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