Rhapsody in Blue: Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech by

Issue 24 · Channeling Marrakech · June 13, 2012

Rhapsody in Blue: Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech

Issue 24 · Channeling Marrakech · June 13, 2012

Paris meets Marrakech in the musn't-miss Jardin Majorelle, created in the 1920s by French painter Louis Majorelle and later owned by Yves Saint Laurent (it's also his final resting place).

In the first half of last century, as the Parisian arty set discovered the exotic wonders of Marrakech, French artist Louis Majorelle transformed a twelve-acre palm grove into the Jardin Majorelle. With one masterful stroke of cobalt blue (a color inspired by Moroccan tiles), he transformed his Art Deco villa and studio into a powerful visual statement. Surrounded by botanical gardens filled with the exotic plants and rare species that Majorelle collected on his travels around the world, the compound is a masterpiece so magnificent Yves Saint Laurent requested that his ashes be scattered on the grounds. For visiting information, go to Jardin Majorelle.

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Above: Bright yellow highlights contrast with the cobalt blue. Image via Flickr.

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Above: The strength of Bleu Majorelle (the cobalt blue that inspired Majorelle) unites the architectural composition. Tall cacti reach high, like architectural columns. Image via BP Blogspot.

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Above: Majorelle was obsessed with the quality of his plants. Every specimen plant in Majorelle Garden is given the space required so that each can be appreciated individually. Image via Garden of Eaden.

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Above: Paris meets Marrakech: Moorish details are applied to a classic Art Deco building. Image via Isn't It Just Darling.

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Above: The bold cobalt blue is carried into the pools and fountains of the garden. Image via Garden of Eaden. (N.B.: For a cactus garden of your own, see Miniature Moroccan Tabletop Garden.)

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Above: A pool of water lilies is framed with a cobalt blue frame. With a list of plants from the far-flung corners of the globe (cacti, yuccas, water lilies, coconut trees, banana tree palms, and bamboo), Majorelle assured his immortality—through his garden. Image via Go Africa.

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Above: Terracotta planters painted blue serve as backdrops to small cacti plants. Image via Jeffrey Gardens.

Above: Yves Saint Laurent in his Marrakech home. When he and his partner, Pierre Berge, discovered Majorelle Garden, it was in a state of disrepair. The couple purchased the property in 1980 and restored the gardens to their former glory. Photograph (L) by Pierre Boulat, via Jardin Majorelle. Photograph (R) by Chris Beetles.



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