Kostas is one of the stars of Gillian Leahy’s exquisite little documentary Our Park. In the film, though not in the clips at the link, we see a little of his project of establishing a community garden along Whites Creek Lane. At one point, he says that his many plantings will stop dogs from slipping under the fence and into the canal – and is immediately given the lie by a shot of a dog doing exactly that. The laughter is good natured, but Kostas’ project comes off looking less than practical.
Eleven years later, the lane is transformed into a leafy garden, and Kostas presides over the Pudding Club, whose primary school student members spend a couple of hours each weekend watering, weeding, composting … and eating cakes cooked by Kostas. There are pomegranates, olives, stone fruit, birdbaths and dog watering holes. The plantings and edgings continue into the park to the north of the lane, and there are seedling gum trees planted across the canal. A recent application to have the lane declared a shared zone with a 10 km/h speed limit was rejected by Leichhardt Council, but by sheer hard work and personal charm Kostas has created something special.