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November 19, 2017

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Photos: Live butterflies and flowers abound in Bellagio’s spring display


Tom Donoghue/

The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens’ 2013 spring attraction with flowers and butterflies aplenty on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.

2013 Spring Display at Bellagio

The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens' 2013 spring attraction with flowers and butterflies aplenty on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Bellagio Conservatory Spring 2013 Time Lapse

The calendar may say spring is still a week away, but the season is in full bloom already at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Here is a time lapse video that captures the weeklong transformation from the previous Chinese New Year exhibit to the current spring one.

The weeks of cold and dreary winter weather are behind us, and weeks of warm desert sunshine without the searing summer heat are ahead. It’s definitely one of the two most glorious periods of the year to be in Las Vegas.

Technically, spring runs on the calendar from next Wednesday through June 20, 15 weeks of perfect weather to look forward to before air conditioning is set to run around the clock.

I don’t have an inner pipeline to the weather experts to guarantee that, but it’s a pretty good indicator when the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens blooms into spring with its dazzling display.

The horticultural staff there this week said goodbye to winter and hello to spring, and contributing photographer Tom Donoghue was there Wednesday morning to capture its new beauty and magnificence. (A tip of the hat to our colleagues Steve Marcus and Sam Morris of the Las Vegas Sun for their photo gallery and time-lapse video, respectively.)

Springtime in the lobby of Bellagio becomes a major wow of a tourist attraction. In the west garden, a 26-foot-tall, 9,000-pound windmill welcomes visitors into a gorgeous area filled with tulips, mums and poppies dominated by17-feet-tall and 15-feet-wide tulips. The daffodils are even larger at 22 feet.

More than 800 butterflies flutter inside the 36-foot-long greenhouse. Four live TV monitors have been set up so guests can watch the butterfly pupae metamorphosis. The butterflies have been brought in from all over the world, including Costa Rica, Philippines and Kenya.

During the exhibit’s run through May 11, there will be a jazz guitarist and a harp and flute duo performing in the Victorian gazebo; check for days and times of their shows. The north garden features a mother swan and her two cygnets made of 5,000 feathers and simulated fur in a pond with a bridge and a waterfall.

The fun figures are fascinating: Each week, the total flowers on display number 8,283, which means more than 80,000 during the exhibit’s duration. Additionally, there are 805 shrubs that fill the two garden areas.

Don’t forget to bring your own camera!

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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