Apr 122017 Tagged with , , , 0 Responses

Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech


The short tourist notes I had read regarding this garden were –  “A painter’s garden”. I had visions of Monet.  “A living work of art composed of exotic plants and rare species”. I had visions of Adelaide Botanical Gardens – vaguely similar climate…  So it was a complete surprise to find a predominantly bamboo, cacti and palm garden set within a small oasis only minutes away from the madness of the Marrakech Medina.

If I had realised it was a palm and cacti garden I doubt I would have made an effort to visit – I am so glad we did!  I have visited many, many gardens but none so extraordinary or so photogenic as this one.

The cacti are huge, AND beautiful.  The rare, and carefully chosen varieties have been placed so that their structures perfectly compliment and contrast against each other and their soaring grey silhouettes look incredible against the azure blue sky.  The mix of solid, strong cacti shapes – tall, round and irregular – in the foreground with the soft feathery fans of massive grey palms dancing between and above is completely captivating.  The chances for photography were endless (as was the queue to enter the garden!)

Such strong plantings were perfectly balanced with the equally strong Marjorelle blue which was used throughout the garden.  This colour is far too strong for a flower garden, but with the plant subjects of palm and cactus it is perfect.  A valuable lesson using both bold plantings and incredibly vivid, bold colour.

The garden was the love of French orientalist painter Jacque Majorelle (1886-1962).  In 1923 he purchased the palm grove that was to become the Jardin Marjorelle.  An Art Deco painting studio was soon added and painted what was to become the famous ‘Marjorelle Blue’ which is also featured in ceramics, railing, pots, fountain and rill.

After the death of Marjorelle the garden was saved from destruction by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge who lovingly restored both the garden and studio.  The painter’s studio is now a Berber Museum giving insight into the areas surrounding Marrakech and the ancient Berber people.

An incredible garden and the perfect space to unwind after a busy day in the Souks.  NB. Go early in the am to avoid queuing.


Facebook Twitter Google Email Email

Share your ideas on this subject

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.