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The Culture of Gardens in Morocco

A Garden For The Body 

The gardens in Morocco almost always rely on water to refresh the senses. The specific intensity of different streams and sources of water has such a wide spectrum of sounds. A human can spend a lifetime being delighted only by that. No wonder that gardens are such a big part of Moroccan architecture, right?

What if we add to these sounds, the company of the birds bathing in fountains, frogs croaking from an undefined location of a pond, all from different directions.

Ears start tingling, tickled by these sounds. 

The mountain breeze freezes gently the tip of your nose, the brain inhales fresh oxygen that clears every thought and make the blood in your veins all bubbly.

That fizzy sensation is the irresistible bond we have with nature.

Palais Badii in Marrakech
Palais Badii in Marrakech is a great example of a riad, a big house with an indoors garden

Morocco Gardens and their Fertile Red Soil

Gardens in Morocco portray the cultural diversity of this land, they show the possibility to coexist, that if we’re not beneficial to our surroundings we have the opportunity to be like the tree that has such big leaves that take away sunlight from the neighbour plant to grow healthy. Or maybe with roots so deep that don’t allow another plant to even grow. Or too thirsty to let another one get its nutrients from the common water.

It depends from which plants have the capacity to adapt better in that precise moment. To coexist and thrive, luscious.

Paradise has been always imagined as a garden even before any religion introduced figurative representations of heaven. A concept of a garden as an oasis that can provide a refuge from the heath and arid environment of most of the Islamic countries.

This type of garden is a very ancient example of civilisation, private or public, gardens and parks are always nicely taken care of, wherever the fertility of the place nurtures the life beneath the soil. 

The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden, Islamic garden nestled in the centre of the Marrakech Mèdina

Shade & Soil

In the modern Morocco, young groups of people are filling the benches, strolling hand in hand and some other people take a nap. 

This innocent habit of resting under the shade of a tree is so fascinating to see in a city like Marrakech, that usually requires a constant state of alert for all your senses.

The red soil of Morocco is extremely fertile and allows many places to have some greener patches, and many others to design big areas for parks, without counting all the private properties that have gardens and grow their own fruit or vegetables. 

The clay rich soil of Morocco Atlas Mountains
The clay-rich soil of Morocco, in this picture is the region of Marrakech, in the Atlas mountains

An Oasis for the Mind

The gardens in Morocco are often part of a private hotel. Different hotels use the word “Jnane” a.k.a. oasis before their property name for this reason, and several are the attractions that recall nature in cities like Marrakech, where we have the “Secret Garden” and the restaurant “Le Jardin” to name just a couple.

I am not an expert of gardening more than I am sensitive to the magnetism of nature, the art work of this earth we live in.

The duty we have to live artfully and inspired.

I’ve paid now my tenth visit to ANIMA Gardens, our favourite garden in Morocco. This is the place that inspired my words for this post, and that constantly gives my senses a little shake.

Anima  Gardens Collage
The hidden mirror house, at ANIMA Gardens by artist Andre Heller

A Paradise For the Soul

 This welcoming haven of coexistence between plants is still assessing its roots but the results are already so positive.

The project of the artist André Heller took 6 years to come to life, and since 2016 is making its way among the most renowned gardens of Marrakech and the region.

It’s location between Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains is ideal for its plants to grow and the view to get there is dreamy.

Anima Garden View

Once approached, the main path fenced by trees, the sound of footsteps on the pebbles of the path that branches out deeper inside this labyrinth of plants and trees.

Art pieces hidden inside little corners, some of them shining amidst the leaves, some others appearing in their height at the end of a green tunnel of bamboo. Some of them blowing mist to refresh the visitors in the middle of the day. 

anima gardens mist

Hammocks waiting to be a temporary cocoon, to then release us – lighter – and ready to continue the path we prefer. 

While walking I like to brush the rosemary bushes so that the healing smell of it sticks to my hand and floats in the air. It is definitely more interactive then it looks, there is no need to feel shy.

My cheeks hurt because of the smile I keep while I roam on my favourite paths.

The frisky mountain air accentuates my sense of smell, the relaxation is not complete though.

Heading towards the lovely café, I have some lunch and lie down near the pond, soaking up the energy of the light, the flow of the water, and get grounded with my feet on the grass.

Blog written by Burcin Yetim

Anima Gardens Pond

There are many other gardens in Morocco which we would like to share with you. In Fes, in Taroudannt, in Skoura, in Draa Valley. If you would like gardens to be an intrinsic part of your tour with us, just let us know and rest assured that even if formal gardens are not your thing, breaks in nature are always ours.

Dar al hossoun013

 

 

 

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Written by Linda

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4 thoughts on “The Culture of Gardens in Morocco

  1. Beautifully writen
    I have visited both these garden and will certainly be back
    The Anima garden is majical, your words took me right back there

    1. Thanks for your comment Janet. After releasing the new website I’ve only just figured out how to turn these comments on so that I can read them!!! Anima gets better and better as it matures. I always like to pop in whenever I’m there to decompress a bit.

  2. Great blog post. I will never forget my visit to Anima Gardens- lush, fertile and beautiful. Much much better than I’d anticipated.

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