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Posts from the ‘Mediterranean wanderings’ Category

After Morocco: Re-thinking the Garden

Time to come clean: The Jasmine Garden privileges a European concept of gardening over what might be truly appropriate for the local environment. The house, a new build, was delivered complete with a nascent lawn and the odd tree or yucca along the perimeter fence, plus an irrigation system. So the model was assumed, if not set.

Without reflecting too much, I planned herbaceous borders, fruit trees, and herb and kitchen gardens.

The borders are quite unusual in Egypt, and the kitchen garden with its five raised beds almost unheard of. Apart from that, the garden is conventional – by English standards!

Plus – there’s an underlying assumption that water for irrigation is plentiful. In theory, it is. Or, rather, it has been. But it’s an open question if that will remain true for much longer. So, is there another way to garden? Read more

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In Morocco: gardens of secrets, gardens of symbols

Traditionally, urban gardens in the Middle East tend to be private and secluded spaces, designed to provide respite from noisy street and crowded market (souq). Or perhaps to alleviate the harshness of an arid environment, all rock, stone, sand and unforgiving climate.

In Morocco, entry is via a gate- or door- way, followed by a turn into a corridor. Then, a glimpse of paradise: light, peace, relief.

Where space is at a premium, as in this courtyard of a riad in Taroudant, there may not be any greenery – but there will be provision for flowing water. Read more

In Morocco: the red and the green

Morocco’s national colours are red and green. Among the many layers of meaning they might symbolise, I think the colours represent the country itself – red earth of land and mountains, greenery of gardens and wild flora.

I’m digressing from the usual posts about the jasmine garden, cultivation and heritage in Egypt. This is a look at a different North African country, far to the west of us, following a trip this month to Marrakech and Taroudant, with mini-treks in the Atlas Mountains.

Morocco is an astonishingly beautiful land.

Mountain greenery + blossom Read more