Marrakech, Morocco: In Living Color
After passing Yves Saint Laurent’s memorial plot, I continued to stroll along rows of exotic plants until I reached the pool filled with water lilies and lotus flowers, the tall palm trees reflected on the water. Across the big pool was a small rectangular pond with bamboo bushes in the middle. With the water lilies, lotus flowers and bamboos, you could almost see a Zen garden, but the pots and the edge of the pools and ponds painted in electric blue and yellow, very bright colors that gave it a magnetic look. In addition, the precise placement of the trees and the cactus plants in different forms gave the garden a mysterious feel.
Designed by Jacques Majorelle, the landscape, known today as the Majorelle Garden, began in 1924 and opened to the public in 1947. Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge acquired and renovated the property and gave it to the Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent Foundation in Paris to ensure its continuing existence.[i]
My visit to the Majorelle Garden ended at the Berber Art Museum, an Art Deco building with a Moorish charm, painted in electric blue. The museum displayed artifacts from Morocco’s indigenous inhabitants, including wood, leather and metals, textile, musical instruments and traditional clothes. The most unexpected surprise inside the museum was the mirrored, midnight black chamber with a display of a sumptuous collection of filigreed jewels that reflect into infinity beneath a starry sky – a touch of Yves Saint Laurent.
All photos by the author
[i] From the Jardin Majorelle visitor pamphlet