Beauty set in stone: it’s a labour of love

SOLID STONE: Gerard Cornet brings his traditional craft to local gardens.
SOLID STONE: Gerard Cornet brings his traditional craft to local gardens.

WHILE many materials go in and out of favour as trends change, the beauty of natural stone remains timeless.

Valued since man started working with tools, stone has been used in construction around the world; from the Taj Mahal to the Egyptian pyramids, from Angkor Wat to the Parthenon, the popularity of this quality material endures.

A native Frenchman, Gerard Cornet began his apprenticeship as a stone mason in the south of France where this skill has been taught for generations. After learning the craft of a stone mason and working in the trade, he moved on to become a gardener, with olives becoming his speciality.

Although passionate about gardening, Gerard's love for working in stone never died. Now living on the Coffs Coast, he has taken up the mallet and chisel again and is using his experience and skill working with what he calls "a noble material" to transform local gardens.

"Stone, like wood, offers a huge palette of variety and it is this that I enjoy so much," Gerard said.

"The work of a mason is like someone working on a puzzle, you have to make all the pieces fit, as well as all the colours, which offer more beautiful possibilities."

Gerard creates stone walls, steps and garden paths for both traditional and contemporary gardens and the mortar is an important element in creating these works of beauty.

"I have my own secret recipe; with mortar you have to get the right consistency but also the right shade to offset the colours of the rocks."

To learn how stone can enhance your garden, contact Gerard Cornet 0478 217 471.

Topics:  coffs coast gardening

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