|Memorial to Yves Saint Laurent
(his ashes were scattered in the garden)
It’s a remarkable garden. Tour guides focus on the variety of plants and their diverse provenance (flora from five continents allegedly grows within those walls). But to my eye, what’s remarkable is that it’s a garden so obviously created and maintained by men who were first and foremost artists and fashion designers. When I visit a gardener’s garden, the plants take center stage; other design elements play supporting roles to the plants — the principal feeling I get is an enthusiasm for plants and their vibrant beauty. Here, the plants were lovely, and had obviously been lovingly collected from around the globe, but they were secondary to the design. As with other gardens created by design masters (Le Notre’s gardens at Versailles come to mind), nature becomes a medium of the artist, with color, texture and form being formed into a harmonious whole.
With a climate such as Marrakesh has, Majorelle had the richly textured world of cacti and succulents at his fingertips. But by adding water features he was able to bring in smoother, more delicate textures as well.
Rigorous geometrical forms enclose the garden (walls and gates), set the tone for visitors as they enter and leave the garden (fountains at the entrance) and echo throughout the compound in myriad natural and man-made shapes.