Holiday Horticulture : Marrakech’s Top Gardens

Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech’s Top Gardens

Firstly, I must apologise for radio silence on my part. It’s been a busy few months for us in Devon with a change of job (becoming self employed), getting married, a holiday and a Minimoon. The garden has suffered from this neglect and my blog was the worst casualty. So to make up for this I thought I’d brighten the rainy Autumnal weather of late with some sunny pictures.

My new wife and I went to Marrakech for a short break after the buzz and business of wedding mania. Having never been before we used a Top 10 guide book to direct us around the must see gardens and sites. It was wonderful. Despite being a desert climate, the city is undergoing a ‘re-greening’ with rows of orange trees and roses being planted along the highways making it a verdant modern city.

Majorelle Gardens

www.jardinmajorelle.com

Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco

Probably the most fashionable and famous garden located to the north of the old city and walkable from the new city. It was originally laid out by artist Jacques Majorelle (hence the name) but rescued by fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent in the 80s which elevated it in popularity.

Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco

It is a jungle-style garden and a lush relief from the arid surroundings. The searing blue of its walls has become iconic.

I found it rather small and a little disappointing. The plants were wonderful but poorly labelled and felt like it was trying too hard. Being three times the price of every other attraction in the city didn’t endear it to me at all and it felt more style than substance.

Koutoubia Gardens

Sitting at the feet of its namesake Mosque, this public park space has roses bordered by topiary hedges and flat-topped Orange trees. It’s a calm, free, space near the very centre of the old city and worth a wander on the way to Manoumia.

Koutoubia Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Koutoubia Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Koutoubia Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Koutoubia Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco

Mamounia Hotel Gardens

www.mamounia.com

Mamounia Hotel Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Mamounia Hotel Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco

This rather grand hotel (a favourite of Winston Churchill) has 17 acres of beautiful gardens stretching out behind it. It’s free to enter – just make sure you’re not wearing shorts and T shirt as there is a dress code and you will be turned away at the gate (as we found out). Once suitably attired you can swan through the plush lobby and out the back into the gardens. These were my favourites in Marrakech. Probably because it felt familiar as it draws on The English Garden for its inspiration.

Mamounia Hotel Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Mamounia Hotel Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Mamounia Hotel Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Mamounia Hotel Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco

Here you can see roses, olive and citrus trees and even the vegetable garden. Beautiful. They even do fantastic cocktails on the terrace.

Mamounia Hotel Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Mamounia Hotel Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Mamounia Hotel Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco
Mamounia Hotel Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco

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