Thursday, May 30, 2013

Las Vegas Bellagio, Part 2

A few weeks ago, I showed you some images of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas (from the trip we took in 2006) and I promised to show some pictures of the conservatory and botanical gardens located inside the hotel/resort.



When I look back at these pictures, it seems that the conservatory and gardens were just a riot of colors, and in some respects, they may look artificial.  But almost all the flowers were real, and I have to admit, I was fascinated with the artistry and creativity of the whole thing.


This is the glass ceiling of the conservatory; do you see the large dragonfly hovering near the top?  I really loved these giant poppies that were as tall as small trees.  They were dazzling with the sunlight shining through them.




This giant tree was growing right in the center of the conservatory.  It's a Banyan Tree.  The Banyan Tree is originally from India and Africa and is found in many areas of Asia.  From Wikipedia:  It's a type of fig tree, and is often referred to as a "strangler fig."  It begins its life as an epiphyte (a plant growing on another plant) on the host tree.  Like other fig species, banyans produce fruit, and the seeds of the fruit are dispersed by fruit-eating birds. The seeds germinate and send down roots towards the ground, which may envelope part of the host tree, hence the name "strangler fig."

Older banyan trees are characterized by their aerial prop roots (short roots above the ground).  Old trees can spread out laterally using these prop roots to cover a wide area.  They grow into thick, woody trunks, which with age, can become indistinguishable from the main trunk.  The original support tree can sometimes die, so that the banyan becomes a "columnar tree" with a hollow central core.  (Source - Wikipedia)

These older trees can actually resemble a small forest.

Big Banyan Tree at Bangalore 

Obviously, the tree at the Bellagio wasn't anywhere near this large; but it was still pretty awesome.





A variety of plants and exotic orchids were sprouting from crevices and holes in the tree trunks, as well as at the base of the tree.



The floor and walkways in the conservatory and gardens were made up of these beautiful tile mosaics.



We were there in the spring, and seasonal flowers were everywhere.  I saw people working in these flower beds every day, and I was told that as soon as the flowers started to wilt, they were replaced with fresh ones.  There were loads of tulips, daffodils, hydrangeas, and hyacinths.


You can see the purple hyacinths in this picture.  What a fragrance!


The conservatory and gardens were surrounded with shops selling exquisite gifts.  I especially loved these unique glowing fountains.  Wouldn't they be pretty outside at night?



These red, glass spears are some of Dale Chihuly's sculptures.


Then there were these whimsical creations...garden creatures crafted from metal and flowers.  The snail's shell is made with small red and white roses, moss, and coffee beans for the brown stripes.


The frog is made with little green mums and what looks like moss for his spots.  :)


This darling ladybug is made with red and white carnations and coffee beans for her spots.  Pretty cute, yes?


I think these are supposed to be egrets; they're shaped like the ones we see at the beach, only a lot taller.  Jurassic Park style.  :)  You can see their "eggs" on a rock in front of them.  Lots of details.

And finally, I want to show you the butterfly house.


 I was truly in awe of all the creativity and attention to detail here.  Notice the carving around the dome and the top of the columns.


Inside the screen enclosure is a tall, ivy topiary with ferns planted around it.  They've even added moss to the base of the columns.


If you look closely, you can see lots of butterflies on the inside of the screen.  As mementos of our trip, I purchased four small, cloisonne butterflies from the gift shop -- one for myself, our two moms, and my sister.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the conservatory and botanical gardens at the Bellagio.  Thank you for your visit, and thanks to everyone who continues to read my blog.  Your thoughtful comments always make my day.


I'm pleased to be joining The Tablescaper for "Oh, the PLACES I've been!" and Mary at Little Red House for "Mosaic Monday."  Thank you Alma and Mary for hosting these great weekly parties!

Denise

21 comments:

  1. That's really neat Denise! Hard to believe all of that is growing in the desert! Looks like you had a great trip:@)

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  2. This is just gorgeous. I kept changing my mind as to a favorite part. First, I was all about the banyan tree. Then, I actually love the little jungle looking bridge the best. Then, I like the glowing fountains. Then, the ladybug.

    Finally decided that I thought it was all wonderful but went back to the bridge as my favorite part of all.

    I'm a little walking bridge fanatic.

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  3. Just gorgeous! Great photo's you took. Bellagio is just so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Thanks for the fantastic tour, Denise. I love the banyan tree, they are so unusual looking to our part of the world. What cute whimsical garden ornaments...especially the snail.
    Have a wonderful week...

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  5. What an amazing place. I'm sure you just wanted to capture each scene with your camera. Your photos are great.

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  6. Hi! your post was the one before mine in the Tablescaper. What a fantastically opulent conservatory ! I love the banyan tree--never seen anything so big growing indoors !

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  7. How very beautiful!!! Thank you!!

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  8. This is amazing. So beautiful. I can image how thrilled I would be to see this in person. Thank you for sharing and helping me learn about the banyan tree. So interesting! I bet the fragrance was exquisite and glorious. It must have been like a little piece of Heaven.

    Glad you had a great trip!

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  9. I I enjoyed seeing part 2 of your Bellagio tour, Denise! I wore my Bellagio cap to my grandson's flag football game today. It's just so awe-inspiring when you're there seeing it all, isn't it? The gardens were a Dutch theme when we were there and it was just magical. Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures with us.

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  10. what a beautiful and amazing tour. wow..

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  11. Ooooo, this post is just Spectacular! I loved every single blossom, including the giant poppies...so special. Anything by Chihuly makes my heart skip a beat...what a magnificent artist he is.

    Thanks for taking us along. Your photos are magnificent!

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  12. Oh gosh! How fabulous that this is in the resort! The plants are amazing and I always find Dale Chihuly's sculptures fascinating. The flower critter are so much fun, and of course, I love the egret one.
    Thanks for sharing your photos and trip.

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  13. Gorgeous Denise! A tropical forest in the hotel! Such beauty and detail in the gardens, love the whimsy of the critters! Thanks for the tour :)

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  14. The banyan tree is really cool. And I love the glass sculptures! What a fabulous hotel, the conservatory is lovely. Thanks for sharing your trip, lovely photos.

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  15. Such an amazing hotel with so much to see and enjoy.

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  16. What a fun post! Hard to even pick a favorite! I'll pick the frog because he made me laugh but everything is just great; I enjoyed your tour :)

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  17. So much color and whimsy in this post. Those giant poppies are amazing. Thanks for sharing your visit.

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  18. I love your photos! I've been to Vegas but haven't seen this! Makes me want to go back! Hugs!

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  19. I had no idea all of this was at the Bellagio, I'd love to make a trip to Vegas.

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  20. What an amazing place! That Banyan Tree looks as if it could take over the world. Such beauty...it also looks quite crowded...were you able to take your time?

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  21. Ooooo, this post is just Spectacular! I loved every single blossom, including the giant poppies...so special. Anything by Chihuly makes my heart skip a beat...what a magnificent artist he is.

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND COMMENTS. I ENJOY READING EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM.

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