Picture Garden
Edinburgh, the best place in the world to be right now if you like laughing. I’ll be joining the happy crowds this weekend.
Here’s chap with a bird-poo doused head from my last visit.

Edinburgh, the best place in the world to be right now if you like laughing. I’ll be joining the happy crowds this weekend.

Here’s chap with a bird-poo doused head from my last visit.


Remember a bizarre yet compelling kids TV program called Round the Twist? No?Well, this is the lighthouse where it was filmed, which I visited way back in 2004 when I was a mere child of 18. It’s called Split Point Lighthouse and you’ll find it, and a pretty spectacular view, at Aireys Inlet on Australia’s Great Ocean Road.(The picture quality reflects the quality of my camera at the time!)

Remember a bizarre yet compelling kids TV program called Round the Twist? No?
Well, this is the lighthouse where it was filmed, which I visited way back in 2004 when I was a mere child of 18. It’s called Split Point Lighthouse and you’ll find it, and a pretty spectacular view, at Aireys Inlet on Australia’s Great Ocean Road.
(The picture quality reflects the quality of my camera at the time!)


#1. Jardin Majorelle – Marrakech

This is the first of a series of posts on some of the places I seem to gravitate to when I travel. This first lot will be about some of the best gardens I’ve come across, I urge you to pay them a visit. Great for relaxing, finding wildlife in urban environments and taking time to get some interesting photos.

Tucked away amongst the sun-baked, dusty buildings, bustling souks and parched open courtyards of Marrakech sits the Jardin Majorelle, an unexpected breath of foliage and tranquility in the North African heat.

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The garden is named after its creator, Jaques Majorelle, a French artist who dedicated 40 years of his life to creating the garden and the striking cobalt blue colour (now called bleu Majorelle) that washes over every pergola and plant pot.

In 1966 the garden was bought by fashion designer Yves-Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé . They saved the garden from being demolished and replaced by a hotel, and there is now a memorial to Yves-Saint Laurent in the garden, as well as a street named after him nearby.

“And when we heard that the garden was to be sold and replaced by a hotel, we did everything we could to stop that project from happening. This is how we eventually became owners of the garden and of the villa. And we have brought life back to the garden through the years.”

“Yves Saint Laurent, Une passion marocaine”, from Pierre Bergé: Éditions de la Martinière, 2010

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I lost track of time when I visited the Jardin Marjorelle, and I remember when I arrived at its gate I was already tired from a morning of walking the souks in the medina. I had also chosen to ignore standard advice and stay out exploring the city through the blistering midday hours so I was almost ready to give up and collapse into an air-conditioned café. Sitting amongst the shady foliage of the garden was the ultimate remedy to city fatigue, and after wandering its cactus-lined pathways and watching the turtles in the lily pond I was more than glad I hadn’t succumbed to the draw of an air-conditioner.

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In his time, Jaques Marjorelle was an avid collector of plants, and he filled his garden with species representing all five continents.  Walking amongst the many varieties of cacti, bamboo, coconut palms, weeping willows, water lilies and bougainvillea all lovingly brought together could inspire the dormant botanist in anyone. Over the years many varieties of bird have also made their home here amongst the leaves, so the place is truly teeming with life.

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Practicalities

Visiting the Jardin Majorelle will take you into the Ville Nouvelle (new town) of Marrakech and if nothing else is a good reason to venture beyond the famous Medina area and see a different side of the city.

The building that was once Jacques Marjorelle’s studio now houses the Berber Museum, with displays and exhibitions telling the story of the Berber people.

The garden is open every day of the year. Entry costs 50Dhs, approximately £3.70/$6.