Garden Visit: Jardin Majorelle

I first read about Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh, Morocco in the early 1980s in a fashion magazine story about Yves St. Laurent.

Studio Jardin Majorelle 682x1024 Garden Visit:  Jardin Majorelle

YSL and his partner Pierre Berge had bought the property, saved it from demolition, and set about restoring it. From the first brilliant blue photo I saw, I knew I wanted to stand in and experience this garden, not just look at it in pictures.

studio terrace Jardin Majorelle 1024x682 Garden Visit:  Jardin Majorelle

Originally designed and built in the 1920s by artist Jacques Majorelle who painted its walls blue and its details brilliant shades of yellow, green, orange and red off set by chalky tones of turquoise and green.

Jardin Majorelle shade structure 682x1024 Garden Visit:  Jardin Majorelle

He collected plants in his travels and opened his garden to the public.  By the end of his life, however, he had to sell it and it deteriorated to the point that it was going to be leveled for a new Marrakesh hotel.

fountain and garden Jardin Majorelle 682x1024 Garden Visit:  Jardin Majorelle

For me, Majorelle is about the interplay of color, water and light. It is less about its collection of 300 plants.  Their grey Mediterranean tones are counterpoints for bursts of bold, sun kissed color.

Cacti and succulents Jardin Majorelle 1024x682 Garden Visit:  Jardin Majorelle

St. Laurent was born and raised in North Africa. He didn’t move to Paris until he was 18.  The light, color and texture of this place was as much a part of who he was as the rarefied world of the couture in Paris.  He often lived and worked at here until his death in 2008.  There is a simple memorial dedicated to his memory.

YSL memorial Jardin Majorelle 682x1024 Garden Visit:  Jardin Majorelle

Having been warned, I went very early, before the tour buses arrived, and the garden got crowded.  I stayed for several hours watching the light and shadows.  I was transported by Majorelle’s joyful interplay of art, gardens, and fashion. Go if you can.

Pergola Jardin Majorelle 682x1024 Garden Visit:  Jardin Majorelle Colored pots and reflecting pool Jardin Majorelle 682x1024 Garden Visit:  Jardin Majorelle yellow pot and majorelle blue wall Jardin Majorelle 682x1024 Garden Visit:  Jardin Majorelle

 

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About Susan aka Miss. R

Professional landscape designer, lover of the land and all things design.
LABELS: Design, fashion, Gardens, inspiration, Morocco

5 Responses to Garden Visit: Jardin Majorelle

  1. What a gorgeous counterpoint to the foot of snow outside my windows. It looks like you are having a fantastic trip, Susan.

    Nan

  2. Stan Romano says:

    Very bold and beautiful walls!

  3. It was breathtaking Stan. I could have spent more time but it filled up with tourists from the busses…

  4. Susan, this garden has an otherworldly, unearthly quality to it. The color, the light and the plants are like nothing I have ever experienced. It is strangely beautiful to me, compliments of your photography. Thanks, Deborah

  5. Deborah–Visiting this garden has been a dream of mine for 30 years. It did not disappoint on any level. It is of its time place, just as the gardens that you and I make are of theirs. It feels as if it belongs and yet goes beyond what is expected. A truly great garden. Glad you enjoyed it.

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