Joanna is a beautiful, funny, soft-spoken woman who lives part-time in Tangiers. Her garden is like her: colourful, creative and serene with a touch of quirkiness. See my previous post on her house: A very English house in Tangier. She is an expert at the difficult art of mixed borders. In other words, she is English.
Joanna spends a lot of time tending her plants. Too much time, she says. Her gardening gloves are always at the ready to prune, cut back, weed, divide and transplant. The little red table is a sign that this is a very Moroccan garden indeed: Epcot meets Jardin Majorelle.
In the outdoor "potting shed", plants await to be given a new home somewhere. "Me, me, please chose me!"
She obtains plants from friends, nurseries or roadside vendors and finds them an appropriate spot in the sun or the shade. If the plants don't fare well where they are, she does not hesitate to transplant them at the bat of an eye. All this in the intense Moroccan sun.
The garden and house are on a hill overlooking the sea and the garden was landscaped accordingly with retaining walls, gravelled alleys and brick stairs. Each area of the garden flows naturally into the next and looks as if it had always been there even though it has only been a few years.
There is not a spot of soil that is not filled with vines, annuals and perennials, native and imported and even fruit trees. The position of the plants may seem haphazard but every single one is chosen for its colour, time of bloom and height.
Everywhere, reminders of Joanna's imagination and artistic talent. She is an interior designer after all. The clock actually works. The retaining walls are newly built by talented local artisans.
And when Joanna is done for the day, she dives into the turquoise water of the pool. Yes, that's a gardener watering the plants. He does the heavy digging but she is the one who decides what goes where and plants it all. I love the way she made room for the giant palm tree. Aromatic rosemary surrounds the base of the tree and gives off its delicious scent as one walks by.
Joanna even finds time to entertain. Wonder woman with a british accent but without the clingy suit!
Images: Joelle Desparmet