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Rhapsody in Blue: Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech

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Rhapsody in Blue: Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech

September 27, 2013

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 12-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 of 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.

Photograph by David Clay via Flickr.
Above: Photograph by David Clay via Flickr.

See more about Jardin Majorelle at 10 Garden Ideas to Steal from Morocco.

Photograph by Chris Armstrong via Flickr.
Above: Photograph by Chris Armstrong via Flickr.

Bright yellow highlights contrast with the cobalt blue.

Photograph by Maureen via Flickr.
Above: Photograph by Maureen via Flickr.

The strength of Bleu Majorelle (the cobalt blue that inspired Majorelle) unites the architectural composition. The bold cobalt blue is carried into the pools and fountains of the garden.

Paris meets Marrakech: Moorish details are applied to a classic Art Deco building. Photograph by Stephen Colebourne via Flickr.
Above: Paris meets Marrakech: Moorish details are applied to a classic Art Deco building. Photograph by Stephen Colebourne via Flickr.

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.

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. Photograph by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra via Flickr.
Above: 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. Photograph by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra via Flickr.
Photograph by Danilo Tic via Flickr.
Above: Photograph by Danilo Tic via Flickr.

Terra cotta planters painted in a range of bright blues are scattered throughout the garden.

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.

Inspired to add some Moroccan style to your outdoor decor? For one of our favorite ideas, see Design Sleuth: Colored Candlelight from a Moroccan Lantern.

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