A giant bee hovers over a 2012 display at the Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens in Las Vegas.
Amid the arid neon of the Las Vegas desert hides a lush oasis, one that blooms year-round. At 13,573 square feet, the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens in the Bellagio Resort & Casino is one of the city’s largest indoor horticulture displays.
“We begin planning each season’s theme more than a year in advance,” says Andres Garcia, the hotel’s executive director of horticulture. That means growing a yearly total of 255,000 plants on schedule. A staff of 120 then builds the garden’s five annual displays.
For late spring and summer this year, the theme is avian. Live birds will flit about a glass greenhouse while birds made of live flowers perch on a tree house and on a lighthouse that reaches toward the glass roof 50 feet above.
Meanwhile, an enormous sunflower sprouts from an island of grass in the center of a pond. The show runs from May 19 to September 8. Admission is free. (702) 693-7111, bellagio.com.
Photography courtesy MGM Resorts International
This article was first published in May 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.