Le Jardin Secret
Located on the site of the residence of the former Governor of Marrakech, this garden comprises two large courtyards. The courtyard that the public enter into has been planted as an exotic garden full of plants from parts of the world with a similar climate to Marrakech, including Southern California, Australia, the Mediterranean and North Africa. The trees were sourced from Sicilian nurseries whereas the plants were mostly supplied by a nursery in Casablanca. This courtyard explores more the colonial approach to garden making in Morocco, horticulturally complex and full of flower and scent it evokes the romance and exoticism of the city of Marrakech.
The second, much larger courtyard is the site of the original 18th century garden and has been re-planted in keeping with the tradition of Islamic gardens. The pre-existing chaghbar cruciform layout of the garden has been restored complete with the central fountain and rill. Each quadrant of the garden is planted with a grid of orange and lemon trees with olives planted along the north and south walls of the courtyard. A simple mix of Tulbaghia, Lavander and California poppy are mixed in with a mass planting of Stipa tennuisima to create a meadow effect under the trees.
The Islamic garden is quite separate to the exotic courtyard, divided by staggered walls and a contemporary pavilion. The larger scale of the space and its simplicity in terms of both layout and planting provide an arresting contrast to the more complex and intimate exotic garden.
The garden was designed by Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd while Andy worked with the practice, Andy's role was the lead landscape architect.