A merchant’s house to ruin to rubbish dump to garden to cafe and restaurant- the years have been kind to this space as it has been returned to beauty and use by dedicated owners. Read more about the history of ‘The Ruined Garden’ here, thank you Riadzany.
Some places draw you back. It is a combination of human and natural factors here, lovely Moroccan food served well, a staff group that seem to laugh a lot and talk to customers, and this magical space. Almost everything is grown in a pot, from a giant banana or growing palm to the smallest tradescantia. That means lugging soil through the Medina, finding old pots and bags to grow plants in, maybe starting small when you can, and splurging on big plants now and then for impact- and watering. In Spring there is rain, though not reliably every year anymore, and so preserving moisture through broken tile mulches is essential. Water is saved as much as possible.
The Ruined Garden is a jumble of small, tall, lunging plants as well as carefully thought out details that draw the human eye. It is a garden, absolutely in the understood sense, but it is also about delight and giving the visiting eye something to hunt out. Which means that there is an air of improvisation and constant change about it- small details are changed often. The positioning of plants, pots, decorative items, seat covers and tablecloths, all of these make up the atmosphere of care and concern for relaxation- but like the proverbial swan, there is a lot of underwater activity to make this happen.
There is also a happy air of thrift about it. Recycled bags, chairs, tables, tiles, broken bits all form part of the garden dressing. When people come, and I include myself, they smile, sit and relax, read books, bring tablets, and the scene is attentively and chaotically devoted to the guest experience. The sun is bright, so there are many shady corners as well as piles of straw hats to borrow should you need extra cover.
Personally, not only am I working my way through the menu, but I feel as if I am in a best friend’s garden, taking it easy. Isn’t this the best feeling to experience in a garden?