Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Garden – Japanese Spring

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This page last updated on 03/20/2018
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Background: Envisioned by designer Ed Libby and Bellagio’s Horticulture team, the display channels Japanese culture, utilizing a variety of beautiful symbolic elements to honor the dawning of a new season. One of the most treasured elements is also one of the most celebrated in Japan: the spring blooms of cherry blossoms, which are symbolic of the brevity of life and beauty. The Japanese-inspired display contains 65,000 fragrant flowers and botanical materials. 900 flowers were used to create the turtle alone. There are 9 cherry blossom trees, 13 Japanese festival lanterns, three overhead flycatchers, a 12 foot high tea house, several tranquil waterfalls, a koi pond and the 26 foot high sculpted female character covered in 5000 square feet of moss. It took a team of 125 members to create and assemble the display.

Visit Notes: Today our friend Jim Herring, Connie and I visited the Bellagio's new spring exhibit. Guests enter the gardens through two 25-foot Torii Gates (Fig. 01) that are adorned with pink and white flowers on both sides of the pathway (Fig. 02). The pathway is lined with eight of the exhibits' cherry blossom trees flourishing with their beautiful delicate pink flowers. On each of the four corners of the East Garden’s edge are four potted bonsai trees (Fig. 03). There are two brightly colored paradise flycatchers that soar above each side of the display (Fig. 04). Representing a time of new life and renewal, the West Garden features a whimsical woman rising out of the water. that reaches its peak at 26’ in height and approximately 48’ in length (Fig. 05). The outer layer is covered in approximately 5000 square feet of moss and natural materials. These materials are 100 percent recycle Alderwood fiber. The extraordinary water feature portrays a woman rising up from the pond while gazing into a pearl held in the palms of her hands. The sculpted pearl is 12’ in diameter and is fabricated of eps foam and hard coat with an artistic finish to resemble the pearl. Her hair encompasses the perimeter of the back and sides of her head (Fig. 06) and cascades down into a curtain of water encompassing her entire head, which is adorned with Kanzashi, a formal ornamental hairpin. Made from two sticks and flowers, the hairpin is worn in Japanese culture as a good luck charm and wards off evil spirits. Wisteria, an ancient vine representing immortality and longevity, surrounds the majestic figure. (Con't below)
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Notes Continued: On both sides of the central passageway there are two large steel bird houses (Fig. 08) containing dozens of colorful finches (Fig. 09). In the South Garden, left of the central passageway, passersby encounter a 10-foot-tall stone Japanese lantern, traditionally used to line and illuminate paths (Fig. 10). The lantern rests upon a waterfall cascading into a shallow pond. Floating atop the water are multiple blooming pink lotus flowers. The flower is honored throughout Japanese culture for its ability to bloom from the mud of a murky pond – a process which symbolizes attaining enlightenment. Thirteen hand-painted festival lanterns illuminate a soft flickering glow over the garden when dusk arrives (Fig. 11). Just pass the waterfall there is a large turtle covered with yellow roses and other flowers (Fig. 07) totaling more than 900. In the North Garden, right of the central passageway, a traditional Japanese house (Fig. 12) sits on the edge of a pond showing a tea ceremony that honors  grace, etiquette and hospitality that dates back to the ninth century. The 12-foot-tall house is made of bamboo and other natural materials. It is framed by pond filled with koi (Fig. 13) and ornamented with mineral copper accents (Fig. 14). Sitting on the branch of the cherry blossom tree is an additional paradise flycatcher watching its reflection in the pond below (Fig. 04). Behind the woman rising out of the water there is a beautiful urn covered with thousands of hand painted white petals (Fig. 15). In front of the woman there are two beautiful trees on both sides (Fig. 16). The final picture is a shot of Connie in front of the turtle. We all agreed that this was one of the best we've seen. Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is complimentary to the public and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This exhibit ends April 4th.

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