Lake Katherine Botanic Gardens Hours & Location:
Hours: The Lake Katherine Gardens & Nature Center is open year round from sunrise until sunset. The Nature Center is open from 9am – 5pm on weekdays, and 10am – 4pm on Saturdays.
Contact Info: The Lake Katherine Gardens & Nature Center is located at 7402 W Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights, Il 60463 - Phone: 708-361-1873
Features of the Lake Katherine Botanic Gardens:
Lake Katherine is a unique garden that is open to the general public. Consisting of various perennial and annual gardens, native and natural areas, and several demonstration exhibits, the Gardens are sure to delight and inspire guests. The displays and exhibits are landscaped and maintained by numerous master gardeners from the community, as well as the University of Illinois. The Lake Katherine Gardens & Nature Center also welcomes volunteer gardeners that are willing to donate their time to help preserve and maintain the gardens and displays. If you are interested in becoming an active member, call the Gardens at the phone number shown above.
Waterfall: One of Lake Katherine Botanic Gardens most interesting feature is the ever popular waterfall that travels over three hundred feet, falls over four different levels, and descends nearly thirty feet before ultimately emptying out into the eastern side of the lake. This is a man-made waterfall that was not only built to be pleasing to the eye, but the waterfall also aerates the water prior to it rejoining the lake, which helps to support the abundant fish and plant life in the lake. The waterfalls have also become a popular attraction with the local wildlife. The waterfall at the Lake Katherine Gardens & Nature Center delights visitors all year long with its amazing beauty.
Arboretum: On the southern side of the Botanic Gardens are a grove of trees featuring over seventy species that serves as the Arboretum. This varied and beautiful landscape consists of both coniferous and deciduous trees that not only add color and beauty to the surrounding area, but they also serve as an educational tool for guests and visitors to the Lake Katherine Gardens & Nature Center.
This arboretum is an excellent resource for gardeners who are looking to add to or improve their garden designs at home. Among the many trees planted here, you will find American Hazelnut, Witch Hazel, Ironwood, Burr Oak, Sugar Maple, White Ash, pear trees, European Larch, Katsura Tree, Norway Maple, and many others.
Gardens at the Lake Katherine Botanic Gardens:
Butterfly Garden: The Butterfly Garden at the Lake Katherine Gardens & Nature Center is landscaped with specially chosen annuals, perennials, and shrubs that attract butterflies and other types of nectar seeking insects. There are essentially two types of plant life that gardeners used to attract butterflies, host plants and flowering plants. Host plants are used by the butterflies to lay their eggs. Each variety of butterfly has their own preference as to which specific plant they want to lay their eggs on.
The host plant then serves as food for the emerging caterpillar to feed from. Flowering plants on the other hand provide the essential nectar from which adult butterflies feed from. The mouth of a butterfly is long and shaped much like a straw. Because of this, they can only feed on liquid food sources. Some species of butterflies will also feed on sweat, animal feces, and fermented juices. The Lake Katherine Gardens & Nature Center includes a large assortment of both nectar producing and host plants, that attract large numbers of butterflies during the blooming season between June and September.
Herb Garden: Over 75 different varieties of herbs are located in raised planting beds just west of the Nature Center. The herb collection at the Lake Katherine Botanic Gardens & Nature Center contains a rather large collection of herbs that are used for medicinal, fragrance, dyes, culinary, and many other purposes.
This collection is sure to stimulate the senses of all those who visit the Botanic Gardens. Among the collection there are both perennial and annuals. Among the perennials you will find rosemary, sage, chives, thyme, lavender, lemon balm, tarragon, mint, and many others. In the annuals there are dill, basil, oregano, chives, chervil, coriander, and marigolds.
Other Points of Interest at the Lake Katherine Botanic Gardens:
The Lake Katherine Botanic Gardens & Nature Center also has a demonstration garden that visitors can come observe organic vegetables and fruits, and learn the important connection between the food we eat, and the land from which it is grown. The Heritage Garden exhibits the complete life cycle of many varieties, beginning with the spring plantings, all the way through the fall harvest. Among the many herbs and vegetables you are likely to find include: mint, thyme, sage, lavender, lemon balm, basil, bergamot, okra, sunflower, kale, mustards, rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, squash, chives, garlic, melons, lettuce, spinach, beans, carrots, ochre, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, and corn.
Loretta Kupchick Woodland
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