January 09, 2024

Intreegue in the Garden

This year, we thought we would feature a garden a month that we are just over the moon about and hopefully inspire some visits.

Let’s kick off January’s Feature Garden with an exploration of Jardin Majorelle that will surely brighten up those winter blues (subsequently, also known for its blue color, an intense bright blue, set to awaken the spirit)!

I first visited this garden in 2014, located in the vibrant city of Marrakech, Morocco. I found the colors so vibrant, and the plants exquisitely curated.

Jardin Majorelle is a captivating botanical garden, spread over two and a half acres, that offers a tranquil escape from the bustling streets. This enchanting oasis was designed by the French painter Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s. These gardens are a lifelong artist’s journey through horticulture, drama, and color. Majorelle developed the gardens over a 40 year span, his enduring life’s work. Today, the garden is quite famously associated with the late Yves Saint Laurent, finding the garden’s in disrepair in the 1980s, he purchased them and set to restore them. Once restored, he made it his personal residence until his death, where it has become his final resting place in the rose garden.

When entering the garden, you are enveloped by the patented “Bleu Majorelle” color on the buildings, fountains, and planters. Majorelle developed this color in 1937 and painted the structures himself. The ‘Bleu Majorelle’ is intense and striking. It creates a wonderful backdrop for photographers but also a wonderful setting for ornate ironwork and an exquisite collection of plants. A walk around the garden is meandering and leads to alcoves, ‘hallways’ and fountain spaces, feeling calm and serene with the drama of the ‘Bleu Majorelle’ backdrop. Additionally, the garden is a testament to Majorelle’s love for botany and his keen eye for aesthetics. As you wander through the pathways, you’ll be greeted by a captivating assortment of cacti, bamboo, palm trees, and various other rare plant species from around the world. I immensely enjoyed the play of light and shadow throughout the garden, with the ornate overhead structures along with the palms and cacti. As a horticulture ‘nerd’, I found myself engrossed in Latin names and found that many of my pictures are close-ups of plants and plaque information regarding said plant!

Within the garden, you’ll also find a small museum dedicated to Berber culture, showcasing a collection of traditional artifacts and crafts. This museum offers visitors a glimpse into the rich history and heritage of the indigenous people of Morocco.

Jardin Majorelle has become one of Marrakech’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing visitors from around the world. Its enchanting beauty, serene ambiance, and historical significance make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Morocco’s cultural capital. A visit also includes the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, located within Jardin Majorelle. It pays tribute to the legendary designer’s work and influence in the world of fashion, and apparently Jardin Majorelle was an inspiration for many of his fashion collections.

Whether you are a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or a fashion aficionado, Jardin Majorelle offers something for everyone. I adore this garden and can’t wait to visit again! If you do find yourself in Marrakech, I recommend a stay at Riad Dar Sun, located within walking distance of the Jardin Majorelle.

Horticulturally Yours,
Colleen Vacelet

Intreegue Design is a licensed landscape architecture firm operating in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Napa Valley, California. We offer the added value of having expert horticulturists, forest conservation planners, Chesapeake Bay Landscape Design professionals and ISA-certified arborists in house.

Learn more about working with Intreegue and our Design Process.