When watching snake charmers and eating sheep heads get a bit too much for you, you can always come to the famous Jardin Marjorelle to relax and take a look around this well-kept garden. Marrakech has quite a few large gardens and parks, although this was the only one I took a good look at – mainly because of the striking colours of the architecture within!
Unlike the research I did before visiting other attractions in Marrakech, such as the Koutobia Mosque and the Ben Youseff Madrasa, I didn’t know anything about the garden upon arrival, so I let my senses lead me around and discover things at a whim. I have been to botanic gardens all over the world (some good, some not so good) and while Jardim Marjorelle is deceptively large, it was still small enough to feel homely and easily explored in an hour.
The garden was made in the 1920s by the French painter Jacques Majorelle, with marble pools, raised pathways, banana trees, groves of bamboo, coconut palms and bougainvilleas. Perhaps unsurprisingly as the garden was designed by a painter, the garden is composed and coloured like a painting. Many of the built features were painted in a dark blue (‘Majorelle Blue’) which works very well with the soil, climate and plants.
Water is an important feature of the garden – there are channels, lily-filled ponds and fountains. Majorelle was an avid plant collector. After years of neglect, the garden was then taken over and restored by the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge.
Entrance to the Gardens is 50 Dirhams per adult and the nearby museum (I am told it is soon to be closed) is a further 20 Dirhams. If you have any interest in plants and trees, or if you just fancy a nice stroll through a picturesque garden, then Jardin Marjorelle provides a great contrast to the rest of Marrakech. The yellow and blue colours will stay with you for a long time after you leave.