Places, travel

The Jardin Majorelle: Marrakech, Morocco

The Jardin Majorelle, located just on the outside of the old medina, was designed and envisioned by the painter Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962) over the course of forty years. The garden is composed of a series of narrow pathways, filled with large trees, exotic plants and many different cactus that seem to stretch out to the heavens brought here from all corners of the earth.  There are cacti, palm trees, bamboos, weeping willows, carob trees, jasmine and agaves, to name a few. As we wander, we hear the sound of water, smell the fragrances of beautiful flowers (maybe jasmines), the twittering of birds and feel the rough dry textures of the desert in our skin. On one side of the garden there is a large pond with gorgeous huge koi fish, that not only provides a moment of stillness and solitude, but makes it seem as if we are immersed in a Monet painting. Between the cooled pathways, the beautiful fountains and the colours that surround us, it makes it seem as if we are in a sort of paradise.

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At the far end, emerging in between the beautiful pathways, a ‘house’ appears painted in bright blue.  The building, which was Jacque’s art studio, is a sort of Moorish charm painted in blue because Jacques wanted to capture the bright blue he had experienced in the Atlas mountains.  This shade of blue, which later became known as Majorelle blue, is a strong ultramarine, cobalt blue that enhances the green of the plants surrounding it, making it seem as if the garden is alive. Although the Jardin Majorelle only opened to the public in 1947, it was already widely known and revered for its beauty.

‘’ Jacques Majorelle used to say: “The painter has the modesty to regard this enclosure of floral verdure as his most beautiful work.” He referred to the garden as “ vast splendours whose harmony I have orchestrated… This garden is a momentous task, to which I give myself entirely. It will take my last years from me and I will fall, exhausted, under its branches, after having given it all my love.” ‘’  Source

 

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé discovered the Jardin Majorelle in 1966, during their first stay in Marrakech, and instantly fell in love with it. After spending countless days there, they ended up buying it  in 1980, saving it from being destroyed by a real estate project. They moved into the villa next door (Jacques previous house) and restored the gardens to their previous glory.  Today the garden boasts of over 300 species and 20 permanent gardeners always keeping in perfect condition for its visitors. A haven, an oasis, a little paradise on earth, this garden truly is a wonder.

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