I know this post is a bit out of sequence as I have since left Morocco over a week ago but I had to post and share my experience about the Jardin Majorelle. Located in Marrakech, this garden is probably one of the most visited sites in all of Morocco. The French artist, Jacques Majorelle created this lush, secluded hideaway for himself in the heart of the city. A place that he continued to add to and create, which was an inspiration for many of his paintings.
After Majorelle’s death in the early 60’s the garden sat neglected and was soon discovered by Yves Saint Laurent on one of his many trips to Morocco. Discovering that the garden was going to be demolished for the construction of a new hotel, Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge bought the garden in 1980. Over the years they lived on the property while restoring the garden back to its original state and source of inspiration. Upon Laurent’s death in 2008 Berge donated the garden to continue its preservation. Laurent’s ashes are scattered within the garden where there is memorial dedicated to him and his life.
As someone who has always admired the work of Yves Saint Laurent, this was a must-see for me during my time in Morocco. I have long admired his style, love for design and creating art for women to wear in their everyday lives. I almost did not make the visit as I had become very sick upon arriving in Marrakech. But knowing that I don’t often visit Morocco I ventured out with my friends to visit the garden and I couldn’t be happier that I did.
Entering into the shaded walkways of the garden you are suddenly surrounded by lush green trees, a variety of exotic plants, high as the sky cacti, colorful planters that were a brilliant contrast against the blue backdrop. The garden is quiet with the faint sound of trickling water from the fountains and ponds that were visible throughout. I could see where this was a place of inspiration and contemplation for both the French painter and Laurent, a special place indeed that was worth saving.
After a walk around the garden, we ventured into the YSL museum. Recently opening the month prior to my visit this museum was a must see. The modern building houses over 5,000 haute couture garments, including designs from when Laurent worked at the Dior house as an assistant. The museum also included a sliding screen of images of his sketches over the years, really showcasing the mastermind behind what we know as YSL.
Because I am quite fond of YSL, I did have a particular bias towards the museum but all of us who went agreed it was a beautifully curated exhibit and brilliantly designed building, truly a little oasis from the busy, commercial streets of Marrakesh. Highly recommended for any of you who appreciate the work of Yves Saint Laurent.