by KITTY ALDEN
A LOVE LETTER TO MARRAKECH
Marrakech. A place which many call the heart and soul of great Morocco. Marrakech is an eclectic urban city that sprawls out across the dusty landscape, a crumbling kingdom with an incredibly intense and vibrant history. After a few days spent in the merciless Medina which seems to never sleep, we travelled a mere ten minutes from the city in search of one of our favourite spots in Marrakech.
Jardin Majorelle is a mystical haven that has always captivated us, it is the way in which it blends colour and nature into a swirling sanctuary where birds sing from the trees and fish pucker from the waters. This small two and half acre garden is home to a diverse range of plants including varieties of cacti, agave, and bamboo. Each plant placed so consciously in the gravelled landscape, allowing its unique beauty to be worshipped from differing angles.
20th Century french painter, Jacques Majorelle travelled to Marrakech after studying art in Paris and fell deeply in love with the mystical and elegant soul of Morocco. He decided to settle; buying a plot of land and spending his days planting this garden, refining it into a luxurious retreat in the bustling city. There is a meticulousness about this garden and its composition, the ways in which the walls and paths curve and meander around the nature, as if taking each visitor on a journey through his artistic mind, treating them to his creative process.
He lovingly referred to his garden as,
“VAST SPLENDOURS WHOSE HARMONY I HAVE ORCHESTRATED … THIS GARDEN IS A MOMENTOUS TASK, TO WHICH I GIVE MYSELF ENTIRELY. IT WILL TAKE MY LAST YEARS FROM ME AND I WILL FALL, EXHAUSTED UNDER ITS BRANCHES, AFTER HAVING GIVEN IT ALL MY LOVE”
And as you sit still in a secluded corner of the garden, with flowers blooming ahead, you can still feel the 40 years of passion that Majorelle poured into this space.
A SWEEP OF COLOUR
In 1937, the garden was transformed into a vibrant wonderland as Jacques Majorelle began to paint his contemporary studio in the garden with a supremely bold cobalt blue. Once one facade was painted, the colour took a hold of the Jacques, and was used on pots, gates, fountains, and pergolas in this paradise. This ultramarine blue, so rich in pigment brilliantly elevates the garden, enriching its voice. The colour became such a signature for Jacques, it was trademarked Majorelle Blue and will carry his name into the future of art and design.
After it opened to the public in 1947, and after the death of Majorelle, the garden mourned and fell into despair. However, designers Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé discovered it in the 1980s and embarked on restoring it to its original state. To this day, Majorelle’s painting studio stands tall as an Art Deco inspired building, deep in Majorelle blue, turquoise and yellow; it is a castle in the gardens kingdom.
LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED
Love | (Noun)
A strong feeling of affection
A great interest and pleasure in something
Love | (Verb)
1. Feel deep affection for (Someone)
Every New Year, French fashion designer, Yves Saint-Laurent would send to his loved ones, a postcard with a love motif. Each year they were more colourful, more personal and clear in their message of L O V E. Jardin Majorelle honours YSL’s timeless tradition with its own Galerie Love, a small gallery space where original postcard paintings line the walls. A sweet reminder of love, and the power it comes with it. When YSL died in 2008, Bergé spoke at his funeral stating,
“BUT ALSO KNOW THAT I WILL NEVER FORGET WHAT I OWE YOU AND THAT ONE DAY I WILL JOIN YOU UNDER THE MOROCCAN PALMS”
Jardin Majorelle is a Moroccan treasure, erupting with a fascinating history that weaves together art, design and most importantly love. Each time we step into the landscape we are reminded to do all things with love. We definitely recommend that you pay this wonderful garden a visit if you are travelling to Marrakech. Let it inspire you.