Just when we feared the Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens was falling into a rut, the free Las Vegas attraction has pulled out all the stops with a new “Under the Sea”-themed summer display. Feast your eyeballs on this!
If you visit the Bellagio Conservatory on a regular basis, you start to see patterns (repetition) in the seasonal displays, so we were pleased to see an entirely new display unveiled for the summer of 2015.
The new display features a mermaid, sunken ship, a 26-foot tall coral reef, multiple water features and a variety of vividly-colored sea life, including massive jelly fish and seahorses.
This is the first time the Bellagio’s Conservatory has plumbed the depths of the ocean for inspiration.
Our first visit to the new summer display was during the day, and while impressive, the true magic of this new motif happens at night. We recommend making two visits. During the day, you can get a good look at the attention to detail. During the evening, your inner child will take over and you’ll be transported into the undersea world populated by Nemo and Ariel and Bambi, had Bambi ever shown the ambition to be scuba certified.
Among the highlights of the display is a sea turtle fashioned from red carnations and yellow Fuji mums.
A fishermans’ wharf plays host to live music. Performances happen daily 4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
In keeping with a recent trend to include more marketing aspects in the Conservatory’s displays, there’s also a sandcastle replica of Bellagio.
Another stand-out aspect of the summer display is a mermaid with 1,500 fresh-cut flowers in her tail. Yes, we counted.
The artist who fashioned the mermaid’s face is named Ruel G. James, and he used a Las Vegas model for inspiration, a friend of ours, Tarra Scarff Proctor. Tarra would hate it if we included a photo of her here. So, we’re definitely doing it.
The mermaid has some impressive touches, like her hair, made from hundreds of seashells.
Bellagio’s summer display also has a 35-foot-long sunken fishing boat made of teak, mahogany and cedar wood. It’s difficult to see the whole boat from ground level, so we fired up our drone.
There’s also a larger-than-life treasure chest that would make the “The Goonies” proud. Related: How the hell is that movie 30 years old?
As with all displays at Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, flowers play a big part in the overall wow factor.
The summer display will feature 6,000 flowers per week, or 80,000 for the duration of the exhibit.
In addition to the flowers, the attraction also boasts 600 shrubs. That’s a lot of shrubs. Sadly, shrubs don’t get nearly the attention or glory the flowers do. Shrubs are like the Jan Brady of the Bellagio Conservatory. “Fuji mums, Fuji mums, Fuji mums,” the shrubs exclaim.
This latest Bellagio Conservatory installment is a captivating reminder of just how lavish, creative and ingenious these exhibits can be.
Thankfully, the Bellagio understands there’s a benefit to providing unforgettable, free things to do on The Strip. Given ongoing belt-tightening at Las Vegas casinos, we’ve worried the Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens would be sent to Davy Jones’ Locker. Hang in there Bellagio!
So, catch this new Bellagio Conservatory display while you can!
And don’t miss the animated fishies.
Enjoy a virtual tsunami of photos, several of which are even in focus, in our exclusive photo gallery.
Bellagio Conservatory Summer 2015