The Fashionable and Flowering Jardin Majorelle
The weather in Nashville is simply dreadful. Bone-chilling winds are whipping around corners and sporadic bursts of rain always seem to appear at the most inopportune time. In order to escape this nonsense, I have spent most of the day dreaming about my time in Jardin Majorelle.
Located on the outskirts of Marrakesh, you will find the fashionable and flowering Jardin Majorelle. The twelve acre botanical garden was a passion project of French artist, Jacques Majorelle, which spanned more than forty years. While Majorelle was a talented artist who specialized in watercolors, the Jardin Majorelle is truly his creative masterpiece. Majorelle was a fervent traveler and the more he explored the world, the more his passion grew for gardening. Each trip would result in new exotic plants, cacti and trees.
Walkways are placed throughout the garden allowing visitors to admire the architectural style of the brilliant blue villa (now turned museum). Explore. Allow yourself the time to get lost and soak up the brilliant colors, listen to the chirping of the birds and bask in the peaceful sanctuary.
In the 60's and 70's, when Yves Saint Laurent was not designing fashion masterpieces or overseeing the preparation of an upcoming collection, he and his partner, Pierre Berge,would travel to Marrakesh for rest and relaxation. In 1966, during their first visit, Saint Laurent and Berge discovered Jardin Majorelle. Developing a fondness for the property, Saint Laurent and Berge were there almost daily.
In an effort to save this gorgeous property from falling victim to a commercialized real-estate project, Saint Laurent and Berge purchased the property in 1980. Significant resources were invested to preserve and restore the garden while respecting and maintaining the vision of Jacques Majorelle.
We quickly became very familiar with this garden, and went there every day. It was open to the public yet almost empty. We were seduced by this oasis where colours used by Matisse were mixed with those of nature. » … « And when we heard that the garden was to be sold and replaced by a hotel, we did everything we could to stop that project from happening. This is how we eventually became owners of the garden and of the villa. And we have brought life back to the garden through the years.”
Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent, “Une passion marocaine” Éditions de la Martinière, 2010
Saint Laurent passed away in 2008 and a memorial was erected in the garden so visitors can pay their respects and remember his contributions to the world of fashion and art.
As this is one of the more favored attractions in Marrakesh, I would recommend arriving early as it's much nicer to wander when the grounds are free of crowds. You will feel as if you have been transported to some place magical.
Until next time!