Botanique au Jardin Majorelle by Marc JEANSON – Archives du Calvados

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Botanique au Jardin Majorelle by Marc JEANSON – Archives du Calvados

Botany at the Majorelle Garden

Created by the French orientalist Jacques Majorelle in 1923, the Majorelle Garden in Marrakesh was saved by Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980. Shaped by artists, it is within this very garden that a botany department was created in 2019. The aims of this department include the scientific management of the wealth of plant collections on site, together with the reinforcement of its influence within its human and floral context. Morocco, Marrakesh in particular, is at the heart of current preoccupations on our rapidly evolving climate and on the crucial challenges associated with biodiversity.
This ongoing project has already been materialised in the form of gardening techniques, in the modification and diversification of the garden’s living collections, and through work on the wealth of flora typical of Morocco, via the creation of a herbarium, in partnership with the University of Marrakesh. Spurring change in such an emblematic site inevitably raises issues on the balance between preserving the very soul of the site and its necessary adaptation to an unsettled environment.

Marc Jeanson

Marc Jeanson is a botanist, a doctor in plant systems at the New York Botanical Garden (United States) and the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.
After coordinating the Montpellier herbarium, from 2013 to 2019, he was in charge of the collections at the National Museum of Natural History’s national herbarium in Paris. From 2019 to 2023, he was director of botany at the Majorelle Garden in Marrakesh and has since returned to the Museum. He acted as associate commissioner of the ‘Jardins’ (Gardens) exhibition at the Grand Paris Galeries Nationales in 2017, and commissioner of the ‘Végétal – L’école de la Beauté’ (Plants – The school of Beauty) exhibition at the Beaux-Arts de Paris school of fine arts in 2022. The author of a number of scientific and general works, he published ‘Botaniste’ (Grasset) in 2019.