Day and Night: The Morocco Garden
The Daily Telegraph/House & Garden Fair 2006 

Charlotte Rowe was invited to design one of two feature gardens at the Daily Telegraph/House & Garden Fair in London in 2006. The theme was ‘Night and Day’, showing visitors how carefully designed lighting can extend the use of a garden and dramatically change its appearance.

Her design deployed a limited palette of colours, textures, materials and plants to create a magical tapestry of indigo blue, crimson and cream to create a classic ‘Riad’ garden, the enclosed garden or courtyard found so often in traditional Moroccan houses.

Charlotte’s inspiration was her first trip abroad at the age of six, on a family holiday to Tangier. Her memories of the sights and sounds of the visit still remain vivid today, in particular the enclosed courtyard at the centre of the house in which they stayed. She wanted to recreate this and show how, even in Northern Europe, a calm oasis can be achieved within the most urban of spaces.

In the day garden, a path of cream limestone leads over a carpet of herbs to a central contemplation pool. Foliage mixed with fragrant flowers in lime green, creamy white and indigo blue provide seasonal interest, and there is a canopied day bed for relaxation during the heat of the day. Crossing a water rill, one passes through an arched doorway into the night garden where tall arched windows of deep Majorelle blue glass frame the contemplation pool which shimmers in the light from a stone fire bowl at its centre. The canopied bed is transformed into an intimate den, the curtains are drawn and it is decked with lanterns.

The lighting, designed by specialists, Light IQ, provides a dramatic contrast between the day and night gardens using simple but effective lighting features. The walls are lit with crystal fibre optics echoing the dark starry skies of the Moroccan landscape.