Desert Glory

Death Valley may be getting all the press with its third best wildflower blooming in 20 years, but an amazing explosion of desert color is far closer.

Just 15 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, the Springs Preserve’s gardens are awash in blooming cactus, wildflowers and perennials.

The 180-acre cultural and historical attraction houses exhibits, art galleries, desert wildlife, hiking trails, playground, gift shop and Wolfgang Puck cafe. But right now the 8-acre gardens are the featured attraction.

The gardens are home to more than 400 trees and plants, some more than 20 years old. Most of the plants were grown from seeds collected in the Las Vegas Valley and the native cactus and Yucca species were salvaged from local land being developed for commercial or residential use.

A walk through the gardens showcases:

  • Fruit trees grown in containers
  • Vegetable gardens in raised beds
  • Herb garden
  • Rose garden
  • Cactus Gardens organized by native and foreign species
  • Palm Oasis, representing a dozen different palm species
  • Desert wetland area

The Springs Preserve is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  $18.95 for adults, $17.05 for seniors 65 and older and $10.95 for children 5-17 years old. Children 4 and younger are free. Nevada residents receive discounted rates.

For full-screen version of the photos, click on the FS button in the lower right of the slideshow. Photos copyright Jennifer Whitehair.

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I'm one of a rare breed of folks, a native Las Vegan. That's Las Vegan, not Vegan. Being born in Las Vegas has endowed me with crazy Vegas skills - must be all the exposure to neon. I'm a human casino GPS, celebrity locator (You never know who you'll meet in a casino elevator, right Richard Branson?) and tip calculator. My mom taught me probability and statistics with decommissioned casino dice. When I walk through a hotel, tourists think I work there. Maybe it's my smile, my purposeful walk or my friendly answers. Maybe it's just the black suit. But whatever the reason, gives me the chance to exercise my Vegas super powers every day. Now if I could just predict when Megabucks would hit... You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.

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