|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.
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.
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.
Each of the four seasons is celebrated in this Conservatory as well as an annual tribute paid to Chinese New Year.
|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.
|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.
|Summer celebration in full swing|
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.
If You Go:
The 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:
may your smile of contentment as big as this fellow’s!