Visting the Majorelle garden is a must if you are in Marrakech. In fact, it’s rated as the number one place to go to on tripadvisor. Its calm and tranquility is a respite from the busy bustling streets of the Medina, especially for those who love gardens, art and design, and culture.
The Majorelle garden was created and designed by the French orientalist artist, Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962) who bought it in 1923. Over a span of almost 40 years, it was considered his greatest ‘masterpiece’, describing it 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.”
After his divorce and death, the garden fell into disarray and it was only when the French designer Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé bought it in 1980 that the garden was revived to its full glory. Now, the garden is a tribute to all the efforts of its former owners – Jacques Majorelle, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. There is even a Yves Saint Laurent memorial in the garden.
So why should you visit the MG? Here are some of the reasons based on my visits there:
- If you’re an avid gardener – it hosts a collection of rare plants from all over the world which include cacti, palm trees, bamboo, coconut palms, weeping willows, carob trees, jasmine, agaves, white water lilies, datura, cypress, bougainvilleas, and ferns.
- If you’re into art and design – it’s an excellent place to get inspired from the designs, and the interplay of vivid colours and light. The buildings, gates and even pots are painted in brilliant, bold primary colours with one particular colour – an ultramarine blue which is strikingly beautiful, called Majorelle blue because of it’s association with the Majorelle garden. These colours were inspired by Jacques Majorelle’s travels around Africa. As you meander through the garden, it evokes a deep sense of intensity as well accentuating the different shades of green and light.
- If you love taking pictures of nature then the Majorelle garden is the ideal place. There are many nooks and crannies in the garden which will give you varying perspectives that will give you the perfect shot.
- If you want to know more about cultural heritage there is also the Berber museum which hosts a collection of artefacts from the Berber people and culture.
- For those who want to do a but of souvenir shopping, the garden has a bookshop and a YSL boutique. There is also the YSL museum which displays YSL’s personal art collection inspired by the garden and his life in Morocco.
- Finally, after a relaxing walk around the garden, one must stop at the cafe even if it’s for a cup of Moroccan tea. Sip, sit and soak up the ambience. It also serves delicious food and desserts although prices are a bit on the high side compared to the stalls in the Medina!
If you are planning to go to the Majorelle garden my advice is to go very early in the morning, as soon as it opens or much later in the afternoon, a few hours before it closes. The queues can be long so plan your trip well; you want it to be a relaxing experience and not a stressful one!
Another thing to point out is that the entrance fee is quite expensive (70 dirham for garden, 30 dirhams for Berber museum) compared to other places in Marrakech such as the Bahia Palace (about 5 dirhams) but all in all, I think it’s still worth your money as the garden is unique and very well maintained.
Inspiration from Majorelle garden
After visiting the garden, I was inspired to use some of the unique colours I saw on our roof terrace garden. I especially fell in love with the Majorelle blue! So, in honour of Jacques Majorelle, we decided to paint some of our pots in this gorgeous, aquamarine blue. If you go to our Riad Farasha, you will see that this striking blue accentuates and highlights the garden on our roof terrace. I have also chosen some of the plants that I saw such as bougainvillea, cacti and palm trees. The Majorelle garden has definitely inspired us in designing our own garden so why not visit it and see how it can inspire you!
We would love to hear your experiences visiting the Majorelle garden so do share them in the comments section.