There are some lovely gardens in the world, but the chicest I’ve been to is the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech. This 12-acre desert oasis was the vision of French painter Jacques Majorelle, and took him 40 years to complete. Sadly, he died in a car accident before he could fully appreciate the desert oasis he had created.
Fortunately for modern day flora lovers, the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent snapped it up in the 1980s before it was purchased by a hotel chain and converted into your standard Sheraton. Laurent spent countless hours wandering the colorful garden’s meandering paths, past cooling ponds filled with lily pads and lotus flowers, bamboo forests and assorted cacti.
Laurent purportedly loved the bright blue centerpiece of the garden, the Villa Oasis, a stately home crafted in art deco and Moorish design that Majorelle had built as a retreat from the bustle of the surrounding city. Laurent died in 2008, at which time his partner Pierre Berge donated the garden to a charitable foundation, and it has been open to visitors ever since.
Photos by Steve Moore and Leslie Patrick
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