Yves la difference


The Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech I've just returned from a wonderful few days in Marrakech where, amongst many amazing sights, I visited the Jardin Majorelle (left), an incredible garden rescued and restored by Yves St Laurent.

Initially a garden created by the painter Jacques Majorelle, it's a dazzling combination of feature plants, water features, startling colours and beautiful Moroccan architecture.

A few years ago, a mini-version was created at the Chelsea Flower Show and it wowed the crowds but, to my mind, it didn't seem to work in our climate – you really need the scorching sunshine to bring the colours and shapes to life. And there is plenty of sunshine in Morocco – and heat too. Apparently it can reach 50C (122F) in the city in summer!

Pottering around the garden when I got home, I was thrilled to see that the daffodils are almost in flower. Officially, spring is earlier this year than in 2010. According to trade magazine Horticulture Week, the annual Valentine's Day flower count at National Trust gardens in Devon and Cornwall
showed 17% more plants and bulbs in flower this year than last. I'm going to mention this to my snowdrops, which don't seem to realise that they should be out by now!

Happy gardening

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