20.10.14 Le Jardin Secret, Marrakech - II

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Photo by Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd

Construction work has begun onsite with a lot of progress being made over the first few months. We travelled to visit the site, located in the middle of the Medina to set out the two courtyards and to supervise the planting of the Phoenix dactylifera (date palms).

In this image you can see the view from the terrace of the neighbouring Café Arabe, looking into the smaller courtyard that will be planted with a mix of flowering and scented plants. The range of plant species will be quite comprehensive drawing on the great variety of plants that thrive in the Marrakech climate.

This is the view from the tower located in the north-west corner of the garden looking into the larger courtyard that will be reconstructed as an Islamic garden. The white chalk lines are the centres of the secondary paths. The tower will offer one of the most elevated views across Marrakech.

Construction of tree pits for the 5-6m tall date palms to be planted on the main terrace of the large courtyard.

The date palms were moved through the medina during the middle of the night when the streets are empty.

The 13 no. date palms were planted manually, without the use of any machinery. The largest palm required thirty men to lift it.

A delivery of reinforcing steel. Most deliveries made during the day are by donkey with vehicle access restricted to the early hours of the morning.

You can see our drawings and plans for the garden here.