With Chinese New Year 4713 getting under way on Thursday, The Venetian and Palazzo have gone all out with a grand display in the Waterfall Atrium in front of Barneys New York.
Dana Beatty, the director of floral and horticulture operations for the resorts, says she looked at the customs behind this agricultural celebration when creating the look and feel of the display. This is the Year of the Sheep.
"We chose to offer something a little different with our display. In our feature art installation, we've captured a moment from a Chinese fable of rams climbing to the top of a mountain and opening the mountain that was filled with gold. This story is about success and money luck in the new year," she says.
Beatty consulted a feng shui master to get elements of the display to balance. In it, water cascades from the top of a 15-foot rock mountain surrounded by three rams. Nearly 3,000 blooming orchids, mums, Calandivas and tangerine trees decorate the display.
Six sheep stand in the east and west gardens, designed with 8,000 white carnations that are maintained daily by the floral design team.
Beatty also learned that each of the animal signs has a corresponding secret friend. "This friend is someone who you can always count on and will ever let you down — your best ally," she says. "For the sheep, this ally is the horse, so in the west garden, we have a horse nestled in with the three whimsical sheep."
Yuanbao, an ancient currency considered lucky, brings wealth, so one measuring 10 feet sits in the gardens.
Beatty spent about a year planning the exhibit, ordering plants 10 months in advance to guarantee colors and qualities. A team of horticulturists, designers and laborers work overnight for 10 days to complete the changeover from winter decor to Chinese New Year.
Fifty-eight traditional I Ching coins hang from the ceiling. Follow tradition and walk clockwise around the display three times "to bring blessings of heaven, earth and mankind," Beatty says.