Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Garden – 2019 Autumn Display

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This page last updated on 10/16/2019

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Background: This Fall the Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Garden's display celebrates the beauty and wondrous culture of India with golden leaves, soothing waterfalls and, for the first time, two 14-foot exotic elephants. The display, called, The "Indian Summer", begins with the discovery of North America and the weather of early fall. When explorers reached land, they mistakenly believed they had reached India. In their writing, they told of the incredible new world they found with its beautiful warm climate and second harvest. They called it "Indian Summer." Inspired by designer Ed Libby’s travels to India, this display brings to life India’s culture, folklore and festivities through floral and botanical art. The captivating exhibit is Open through November 30, this is a striking departure from previous displays at Bellagio, and is an absolutely captivating exhibit.

Visit Notes: The entrance of the Conservatory are two glittering 24-foot floral arches embellished with rose petals and botanical foliage and ornamented with flames, as fire is considered a purifying and sustaining life force in Indian culture (Fig. 02). The gilded arcs lead to a regal mandap, a structure traditionally used for Indian weddings, made from thousands of red, yellow and orange carnations. A bed of colossal pumpkins, ranging in size, and four soothing fountains line the walkway’s edge (Fig. 03). Beyond the archway are at the center of the display are two majestic 14-foot Asian elephants spouting water from their trunks, with blinking eyes and moving tails, wearing colorful blankets made from 20,000 pink and purple roses (Figs. 01 & 04). Each of the blankets contain a total number 20,000 of preserved roses (Fig. 04a). 

(Fig. 02) Jim Herring in the center of the entrance way
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A delicate waterfall fairy dances in front of the pachyderms while two Hanuman deities, a part-human and part-monkey Hindu God known for energy and strength, gather a bountiful harvest in intricate hand-painted, wooden carts (Figs 05 & 06) and (Fig. 21). Both of the Hanuman figures are wearing cutting edge sherwani outfits, a long traditional coat. Breathtaking chandeliers resembling Kalire, umbrella-shaped ornaments worn by brides during Indian wedding ceremonies, provide a peaceful glow.

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In the South Garden, there is a 28-foot enchanted talking tree that provides shelter for multiple energetic peacocks that call to each other and fluff their feathers among the branches (Fig. 07). At the base of the tree trunk, there is a family of wily foxes perches on top of a magical carpet (Figs. 11, 12, & 13) and frolics around a blue and gold decorated lamp (Fig. 08). The Magic Carpet is artistically covered with approximately 250 lbs. of red lentils, 150 lbs. of split chick peas, 50 lbs. of Indian Muth grain, and accented with thousands of pink and purple preserved star flower and blue stones. The genie lamp is 16 feet in length and is 5 feet wide. It is covered in 200 lbs of blue colored stone and with artistic gold accents. A striking array of oversized glistening oak leaves and Tiffany style dragon flies flutter overhead illuminating the sky above (Figs. 09 & 10). The color and detail of the overhead dragonflies are absolutely stunning.
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(Fig. 11) Click to Enlarge
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In the North Garden, there are two 25-foot tigers made from yellow lentils, red and black cargo rice and caraway seeds keep a watchful eye over the garden (Fig. 14). A gentle rain curtain pours over a fallen log, providing a perch for one observant tiger, while birds of paradise and cattails offer a hiding place for the other Bengal (Figs. 15, 16 & 17). Three floral sculptures made from more than 2,000 vibrant roses rest on the edge of the pond (Fig. 18).

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There are thousands of flowers, pumpkins and gords scattered throughout the display (Figs. 19 thru 22). By the numbers the total number of flowers on display for the duration of the exhibit will be 45,000; the total number of preserved roses for each elephant blanket is 20,000; the number of roses in each floral sculpture is 2,600. The height of Mandap is 25 feet; the height of floral arches with flames is 24 feet; the height of the elephants are 14 feet; the height of the talking tree is 24 feet; the length of the tigers is 25 feet; the height of the waterfall fairy is 14 fee; there are 12 varieties of chrysanthemums featured in the autumn display; there are 7 Floral chandeliers. It took 125 team members to create the displays assembly.

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