Seasonal display celebrates fall’s bounty
By Nina King
If you had to decide between Las Vegas and California wine country for this vacation, and Las Vegas won, you are in luck. Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has put together a fall display that captures the magic of a California getaway in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. The conservatory, which is decked out each season in a themed array of trees, flowers and other plants, brings the harvest season to the desert this year.
A large covered bridge greets you as you enter the conservatory, the perfect place to hang around and take in the ambience. On one side of the bridge is an enormous pumpkin created with 4,000 orange carnations and a stone face rising from the ground. Wine casks and wine-making paraphernalia make for a pleasant scene. If you are lucky, you’ll catch a harpist playing nearby. Close your eyes for a second and the musical strains may carry you even further away.
A 40-foot water mill towers over a placid pond, and over the pond stands a 15-foot, determinedly happy scarecrow. An old-time grape crusher ties into the bacchanalian display. Throughout the gardens are an amazing array of mums. The sheer exuberance of thousands of blossoms is nearly overwhelming to the eye. You’ll also find pumpkins and gourds, grown especially for the Bellagio, with some weighing hundreds of pounds. Tucked into a corner is a floral reproduction of Claude Monet’s Grainstack (Sunset). The original artwork is on display right now in the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art.
What is possibly the most amazing part of this season’s display may be a 25-tall “living” tree. While the huge face is impressive to gaze upon, it is even more impressive when this kindly old tree suddenly speaks to you as its eyes follow you. Now that’s a tale that you won’t need to attribute to too many glass of vino!