The subtropical Jardin majorelle (or Jardin Bou Saf) is one of the most delightful spot in Marrkech: a small, meticulously planned botanical garden, created from the 1920s on by the French painter, Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962). Now superbly mature, it is owned and splendidly maintained by fashion designer Yves Saint laurent, and is open daily to visitors (8am-noon and 2-5pm winter; 8am -noon and 3-7pm summer; 15dh; no children or animals allowed).The entrance is on a small side street off the jacaranda-lined Av.Yacoub El Mansour.
The garden-twelve acres in extent-has an amazing feeling of tranquillity, an atmosphere enhanced by the verdant groves of bamboo, dwarf palm and agave, and the various lily-covered pools. its keynote colour, used as a wash on the walls, is a striking mauvish-blue-the colour of French workmen's overalls, so Majorelle claimed, though it seems to have improved in the Moroccan light. This brilliantly offsets both the plants -multi-coloured bougainvillea, rows of bright orange nasturtiums and pink geraniums-and also the strong colours of the pergolas and concrete paths-pinks, lemon-yellows and apple-greens that look straight out of Yves Saint Laurent's collections. The garden's enduring sound is the chatter of the common bulbuls, flitting among the leaves of the date palms.
The pools also attract bird residents such as turtle doves and house buntings.
In majorelle's former studio, a Museum of Islamic Arts (a further 15dh; closed Mon) exhibits Saint Laurent's fine personal collection of North Africa carpets, pottery, furniture and doors; Saint laurent was himself born in Algeria. It also has one room devoted to jacques Majorelle's engravings and paintings- mainly of interest for the local scenes (fifty years ago ),which include the fortified village of Anemiter and the Kasbah of Ait Banhaddou, near Ouarzazate.