Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech, Morocco, Madison Cox
The Jardin Majorelle, one of the mythical places of Marrakech, reflects artists' passion for Morocco. First, there was Jacques Majorelle, the painter who created the Jardin not far from Palmeraie in 1923. He set up his studio there and designed the garden as a true work of art, where he planted species from all over the world. Surrounding a long basin, cacti, palm trees, bamboos, coconut trees, thujas, willows, carob trees, jasmines, agaves, water lilies, daturas, cypresses, and bougainvilleas mingle together. As early as 1937, the painter brought out this deep blue, the famous Majorelle blue, in a dominant hue that gave the green of the vegetation a unique glow. In 1947, the Jardin Majorelle opened its doors to the public. But the garden, divided up several times, was sold at the end of Jacques Majorelle's life, and remained abandoned. In 1966, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé discovered this poetic, almost deserted, crumbling haven of peace, but which had a unique aura about it. The place, threatened to be transformed into a hotel, seduced Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé who spared no effort to acquire it in 1980 whereas they were staying a stone's throw from the garden in Dar el Hanch. Over the years, they restored the garden to its former magnificence. The alleys became magnificent once again, the cobalt blue shone under the sun's rays. It is here, in the Villa Oasis, that Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé settled. In their presence, the flora of the garden, meticulously irrigated, flourished, and the species multiplied to reach more than 300 today versus 135 species back in 1999. Every day, twenty gardeners work in the flower beds of the Jardin Majorelle and maintain the ponds and fountains. Jacques Majorelle's studio became the Berber museum, at the heart of Yves Saint Laurent's inspiration who found a renaissance in this garden and in these colors.
To continually give the garden its original colors, restoration work was undertaken under the direction of landscape gardener Madison Cox, to whom we owe the most beautiful gardens of celebrities. This plant virtuoso from San Francisco moved to Paris in 1978 to study landscaping. There he met Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, and formed a friendship with the artists. He signed the co-creation of Les Jardins du Nouveau Monde at Château de Blérancourt in the Aisne, and later the experimental garden for the Chelsea Flower Show in London. From private clients to contracts for trendy hotels such as the Delano in Miami, Gramercy Park in New York and Sanderson in London, he honed his art. In 2011, he became Vice-President of the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation, overseeing the lush Jardin Majorelle of Marrakech purchased by the couple in 1980.
Since the 1980s, he has been designing exceptional green spaces for the gotha. At Sting's, Michael Bloomberg's, and Marella Agnelli's in Marrakech, he transformed the gardens into pure works of art. In 2010, he transformed the Majorelle museum into a Berber museum where the Moroccan influence on Yves Saint Laurent's work is showcased. A real success! It was also he who - to Yves Saint Laurent's great displeasure - removed the lawn from the Jardin Majorelle. It is thus under the direction of this historian of the art of gardens and expert in botany that the garden came to life. He is known for his attention to detail and a keen knowledge of the history of gardens. Influenced by Englishman Russell Page, whose clients range from Oscar de la Renta to the Duke of Windsor, Madison Cox distinguishes himself by his ability to transform everything into plant designs, suited to every environment and his clients’ desires. He takes the climate, soil, and water into account, as in Jardin Majorelle where he used a specific irrigation system to limit the use of water, while choosing species specific to the climate of Marrakech. This is the distinctive feature of Madison Cox. He surprises us with harmony, going from a fabulous rose garden to a symphony of cacti.
Zellige is part of the environment of Jardin Majorelle. A true tribute to Yves Saint Laurent's Moroccan loves, including his passion for Moroccan craftsmanship, the baked clay mosaic tiles blend into the colorful and solar decor of the Jardin Majorelle. Water springs up, rare, precious and radiant in this avalanche of green, blue and yellow. The central square fountain takes up the dominant shades of the garden with an all-Majorelle blue border. In blue and green, the terrace echoes the pattern of the entrance terrace. A clever green and blue checkerboard is affixed, blending into the decor between plants and blue facades.