No trip to Marrakesh is complete without a visit to these famed gardens, initially created by the French artist Jacques Majorelle, and then later purchased by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980 to save the gardens from redevelopment. After Yves Saint Laurent’s death in 2008, the gardens were donated by Pierre Bergé to the YSL charitable foundation. On November 27, 2010, the street in front of the Jardin Majorelle’s entrance was renamed the Rue Yves Saint Laurent in his honour.
The famous Majorelle blue and vivid lemon colours dots the site, and the selection of cacti, palms, bamboo and exotic plants creates a shady oasis in the heart of the business of the city. Water creates reflections and sounds, and it is a garden to sit and while away the hours in contemplation.
I first visited these gardens in 2007, when I was a bit disappointed at the time if truth be told, the gardens seemed shabby back then and had graffiti scratched into all the bamboo canes by eager tourists. Then last week I revisited them, and they have been transformed, along with an amazing museum set inside the original house.
The area near the former Art studio, which now is a new museum of Berber Art opened in 2010, has wonderful ponds and terraces in vivid blue and yellow colours.
The light makes these areas very photogenic.
The variety of plants is endless, and all have very strong graphic shapes:
Every time you turn a corner a new vista opens up or a detail creates interest.
It is a beautiful place and now lovingly cared for. There is also a lovely cafe where you can sit in dappled shade, eat lunch and drink the best Mint Tea I have ever tasted.
I really recommend visiting the gardens if you happen to be in town! In fact, they are one reason alone just to come to Marrakesh. To read more about the history of the gardens and the museum, visit the official website.