For the second year running, Jardin Majorelle hosted a Botanical Symposium at the advent of spring, spearheaded by Vice President of the Fondation Jardin Majorelle, Madison Cox. This year, Jnane Tamsna was honored to play a role in hosting a garden tour that explored native ornamental species, contemporary garden design, and the ancient irrigation system that laid the foundation for Marrakech almost a thousand years ago.
Joining us were several distinguished presenters, including Mohamed El Faïz (Cadi Ayyad), a garden historian and specialist in hydrology, who visited our land over fifteen years ago before Jnane Tamsna was even built. At the time, the land was an abandoned tract of oasis, and Mohamed pointed out vestiges of theseguia water canal, basin and sluice gate, which we later excavated and restored. During the tour, he explained Marrakech’s khettara irrigation system and how it protected the city from floods over centuries.
Botanist Marc Jeanson, from the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle in Paris, teamed up with Hassan Rankou, from Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, to discuss ornamental species native to North Africa. Strolling through the sun, visitors observed carob trees, wild olives, dwarf fan palms, wild pistachios and the stunning blue flowers of shrubby germander.
I showed visitors our contemporary gardens, which draw inspiration from North African horticultural traditions. For example, we visited an orchard that I converted into a botanical garden planted with agaves, aloes, dragon trees, yuccas and other drought tolerant species from around the world that thrive in the dry climate of Marrakech.
Our knowledgeable visitors brought even more life to our gardens with their curiosity and questions. We look forward to more garden tours as spring unfolds.