Las Vegas is generally known for its nightlife. But did you know that it has some of the top botanical gardens in the world? The Bellagio Conservancy and Botanical Gardens, for instance, is ranked as one of the 15th best attractions in the state. Springs Preserve has thousands of native species, as does the beautiful Red Rock Canyon.
Las Vegas Attractions
If you're coming to Las Vegas for vacation, or you are new here, you'll want to find some sights to see. Fortunately, there are dozens to choose from. If you're looking to enjoy the city's natural beauty, there are some beautiful botanical gardens and natural areas to visit. Plus, you might get some ideas for your garden. Here are some lovely gardens and attractions not to miss.
Springs Preserve features a stunning outdoor garden area and an adjacent museum. The exhibits, which feature native flora, are meticulously crafted and planned out. One area to visit in the preserve is the Botanical Garden. This garden features an extensive collection of thousands of plants native to the Mojave Desert and the arid Southwestern region. For its plant diversity and tranquil grounds, the Botanical Garden earned the distinction of the "Top 10 North American Gardens Worth Traveling For." Sometime during your visit at the Springs Preserve, stop into the Nevada State Museum, which includes a 13,000 square foot gallery that showcases the state's native flowers and plants. If you needed some inspiration for your own garden, you'll undoubtedly get ideas here!
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
While the Bellagio Hotel is one of the top destinations for nightlife in Las Vegas, another part of the property that's more tranquil and relaxing is the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Lush plants, tranquil waterways, and a beautifully landscaped floral playground are some of the attractions you'll find at the conservatory. A talented team of landscape designers and horticulturalists comes together every few months to plan a fresh new display for the upcoming season. In addition to drawing on the native floral population for ideas, the team also considers the dominant colors of the season. For instance, red, yellow, and orange blossoms are prevalent in autumn displays. Pastels are primarily found in springtime displays, and cool blues and whites comprise the summertime displays. The displays regularly change by the season. Periodically, the conservatory also has custom displays for special events, such as the Chinese New Year. In 2019, for example, which is the "Year of the Pig," there is a special botanical display comprised of symbolic statues, figures, and even flora that pays homage to the significance of the year.
Red Rock Canyon
Located just outside of the city, Red Rock Canyon is arguably one of the most spectacular natural areas near Las Vegas. There are thousands of different plant species in Red Rock Canyon. Some are displayed in the visitor's center, and you can see many more hiking Red Rock Canyon's miles of trails. What makes Red Rock Canyon so conducive to different plant growth is the fact that it has a number of different soils, including rock, sand, and clay. This is something to keep in mind if you have soil predominantly made of these materials in your own yard. Just a few of the spectacular flowers and plants living at Red Rock Canyon include Jimson Weed, Giant Four O'Clock, Mesquite Honey, Globe Mallow, and Desert Marigold. There are also many types of cacti, including some common species and others that are rare.
Once you've had a chance to visit Las Vegas's natural attractions, you might have some thoughts about what you'd like to plant in your own garden. Fortunately, there are many attractive and resilient species available to choose from.
This shrub thrives in the rocky, often hard soils around Las Vegas. It is also specially adapted to prolonged droughts and dry summers that dominate the area. This hardy oleander has long green leaves, which are accented by tiny, picturesque redbuds.
There are dozens of cacti species in the Southwest. They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can easily create a visually diverse garden just within the family. During the spring and summer, many come alive with brightly colored flowers, which makes your garden look even more dramatic. While it's easy to care for cacti in general, some of the most beginner-friendly varieties are aloe, agave, kangaroo paw, and Wheeler. Some, like aloe and agave, have practical purposes, too.
Honeysuckle has a delicate fragrance, but it's surprisingly hardy. From Texas to Arizona, this species thrives in the Southwestern US. Honeysuckle can be identified in appearance by its bright green leaves and long stems. In the springtime, honeysuckle produces white flowers, which might also be yellow depending on the species, that bloom through autumn. The flowers look pretty, smell delightful, and also produce food for butterflies.
Rosemary is technically a bush. It is also a popular herb. Rosemary requires a little bit more care in its first year, which makes it an ideal plant for more experienced gardeners. Along with its edible leaves, rosemary produces delicate white flowers that start to emerge in early spring. Once rosemary reaches maturity, it usually only requires water about twice a week.
If you want a dramatic pop of color in your garden, this plant is it. Technically a tree, it once came from Australia. However, it's grown for hundreds of years in the Southwestern United States with much success. Along with adding brilliant color to your garden, the bottlebrush's bold red flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. It thrives in dry soil, so the Las Vegas climate is an ideal habitat.
Las Vegas is a diverse city. And while you might not think of it as a destination for flowers, there are many beautiful gardens and natural areas in and around the city. It's easy to make a weekend out of exploring those beautiful places, and you can even get ideas for your own garden. As you can see, there are dozens of excellent plant varieties that thrive in the arid, sometimes formidable desert climate.