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Savannah. Charleston. New Orleans. San Antonio. These colonial-era cities inspire the courtyard garden ideal: green and lush, with beautiful plants, pools and fountains, paved with stone, tiles or bricks, & protected by sheltering walls with gates that reveal a table and chairs for cocktails or an al fresco meal...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Moroccan Courtyards Again





The Riad al Moussika was originally the home of the former Pasha of Marrakesh, and has now been transformed into an ultra-luxurious hotel.  The Courtyards are beautiful day and night. Tiless form "oriental carpets" to floor these pleasure gardens or relaxation. 


The Riad Charqi is in Fez, with views of the Medina from the terrace. The blue and white theme of the tiles is so relaxing and the quiet spray of the fountain calls you into this oasis. Reserve your vision of Paradise here.



This courtyard is furnished more like a garden room, with the plants limited to a single planter in the corner. It is a great example of achieving a restful courtyard in a limited space. It is found in Marrakesh at the Riad Najmati.  The eight-pointed star shaped fountain is a small, yet beautiful addition.


The Dar Doukkala Hotel in Marrakesh has a more verdant courtyard with many types of palms and bananas to provide shade in its large expanse. Bananas are the ultimate tropical plant, but must be pruned regularly of dead and dying leaves to keep them presentable, as the gardeners have done in the Dar Doukkala's courtyard, above.



The above garden courtyard has only bananas and vines and is slightly more sparse than the others, but I really like the shape of the slender fountain which recirculates pool water back to the swimming pool through a small rivulet after falling in the shallow tiled basin.


This courtyard with pool would look great anywhere in the US Southwest, from Texas to California. The date palms would have to be replaced as they grew larger. The table and chairs demand that cocktails be immediately served. It might be nicer to have two ladders from the small pool, to maintain symmetry, and painted wrought iron ones would be fantastic. Both images found here.

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