Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Las Vegas: Giving Thanks for the Garden Fairies

Thanksgiving in the United States has become synonymous with both travel and giving thanks.  Today while giving thanks for our latest travels in the Southwest, I’m adding a special thanks to the ‘garden fairies’ at the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas. 

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Bellagio Fountains looking toward Paris Resort to the left Cosmopolitan to the right

While the dancing fountains may be the tourism icons at the Italian-inspired resort on at the corner of Flamingo and Las Vegas Blvds., it is Bellagio’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens that draw us back each time we find ourselves anywhere near the resort.

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The Conservatory and Botanical Gardens keep more than 100 horticulturalists (those folks, who create such magical settings that I’ve named them the garden fairies) busy year round as they celebrate the changing seasons with a vast array of designs that include bridges, buildings, ponds, towering sculptures and some 10,000 potted plants.

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There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that we were celebrating Autumn as we joined in the steady stream of tourists visiting the gardens this week. 

More than five million visitors each year stroll through the Conservatory, its glass ceilings towering 55-feet overhead.

That’s somewhere between 15,000 – 18,000 visitors a week.



Each seasonal display offers some form of animation that usually delights and sometimes startles the wee ones; this season it was the friendly talking tree who moved its eyes, changed its colors, smiled and spoke to guests in the garden.


PicMonkey Collage

Each of the four seasons is celebrated in this Conservatory as well as an annual tribute paid to Chinese New Year.

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Chinese New Year celebrated in 2010

The horticulturalists, designers, engineers and electricians begin planning for the next season some three months in advance of its seasonal debut. Once decided upon, it takes seven 24-hour-days for those creative folks to install the new display that fills the 13,573-square-foot area. 

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Getting ready for spring

It is even fun to visit while the change over  is taking place. We are reminded, during those times, of what vision and hard work can produce.

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Summer celebration in full swing


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And those potted plants . . . They are ordered from Southern California and delivered a few days before each installation. They are stored in a 40,000 square-foot-warehouse until they are placed in the gardens.

At the end of each display the old flowers – almost 90% of the Conservatory -- are recycled into mulch which is used on the resort’s grounds.











A trip along the Conservatory’s winding paths wouldn’t be complete without a stop to admire what ever the latest floral art work might be. . .we were lucky on one visit to see it under construction.

PicMonkey Collage

If You Go:

Vegas60Seattle 052The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are in the Bellagio Resort, 3600 S. La Vegas Blvd.

It is open to the general public free of charge, 24 hours a day. Live musical performances are a new addition since our last visit and take place from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Tip: If you want to avoid the crowds, visit early in the morning.

Now head over to Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Traveler’s Sandbox for more armchair travels.

Good wishes from the two of us to all of you who are celebrating: 
Thanksgiving Day
and/or
Hanukkah 
may your smile of contentment as big as this fellow’s! 

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20 comments:

  1. Really interesting and amazing all this experience you have had! You took such great photos, so eye-catching!!!
    Have a love day both of you!
    Hugs from here. Olympia

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    1. How nice to hear from my far-away friend, Olympia! You have a good weekend~ Hugs, Jackie

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  2. 5 million visitors - Wow! I loved the idea of the talking tree with eyes that moves and a trunk that changes colours!

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    1. It seemed as though several thousand were there Sunday afternoon, but early Monday we nearly had the place to ourselves! Thanks for the visit, Jo.

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  3. I had no idea that the Bellagio also had such a wonderful garden. Next time I have a night in Vegas I'll have to make the effort to visit.

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    1. It really is worth a visit; the garden isn't far from the registration area. Whatever the garden's theme, is carried on behind the registration desk - most festive, especially with the Chihuly glass installation overhead.

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  4. Lovely photos - I think I was there in 2010 for Chinese New Year too! Happy thanksgiving to you.

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    1. Hi Suzanne, Welcome to TravelnWriter! Thank you for the T-day wishes and for taking the time to visit and comment today. Look forward to seeing you here again -- soon!

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  5. I love the Bellagio Conservatory Gardens and is one of my favorite places in Vegas. We're heading there tomorrow so I'm looking forward to seeing the autumn display. The talking tree was there two years ago too which creeped out my kids. We haven't been lucky enough yet to see it under construction and seeing the artists at work. What a fun collection!

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    1. We did laugh at some of the little ones who loved the eyes moving in the tree, but when it opened its mouth to say, "Welcome to the gardens" they went scurrying back to their mom's side. Thanks for visiting today Mary and enjoy your time in LV! (There's a skating rink at the Cosmopolitan and also the Venetian in case the kids are interested).

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  6. How lovely - it's on my bucket list. Happy Thanksgiving from Sydney Fxx

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    1. Hope you make it one of these days, Francesca. I know you'd love the garden. And thanks for the holiday wishes, hugs, J. xx

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  7. What a gorgeous garden, Jackie. You know me, I never pass up a good garden. I love those talking trees!

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  8. PS...Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joel!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by for a stroll through the garden as well as for the Thanksgiving wishes!

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  9. I usually feel completely overwhelmed on the occasions I've visited Las Vegas---and not necessarily in a good way. Next time I have to be there (it seems to be a popular place for conferences), before I make a beeline to Bryce Canyon, I'll check out the botanical garden at the Bellagio.

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    1. Thanks for the visit today Suzanne. You might also take a stroll through the Bellagio's fine art gallery the next time in Vegas as well. Great exhibits there/

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  10. Wow! I've been to the Bellagio Conservatory, but I did not realize that they changed it for the seasons. Seeing the metamorphosis would be so interesting. I enjoyed your "behind the scenes" look.

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