The Webster Museum is bloomin’ beautiful!

23 Jul
The Webster Museum before its garden transformation

In anticipation of its re-grand opening next month, the Webster Museum is getting a facelift, both inside and out.

Inside, display cases are being refurbished, walls are being painted, and exhibit spaces are being re-imagined. Visitors won’t see those improvements for several weeks yet. But the beautiful updates being made OUTSIDE the museum are a different matter.

Thanks to the hard work of museum volunteers and Village staffers, the two gardens that flank the museum’s front door have been totally transformed. Not only have the weeds been yanked and all the old mulch raked out, but unsightly old shrubs, bushes and roots have been removed and replaced with a beautiful collection of new plantings.

The replanting project started innocuously enough when a few volunteers got together to weed the front gardens. Conversation soon turned to how nice it would look if some of the older plantings were removed and new ones put in their place. Things started to get really serious when museum volunteer Diana Strassman did some research and pulled together an entire list of historically accurate plantings which they could consider choosing.

The project got yet another boost when Jude Lancy, the Village Board museum liaison, got wind of the discussions and enlisted the Board’s support.

The first step was to get the existing gardens cleaned out. Superintendent of Public Works Jake Swingly and several of his staff members made quick work of that, doing the heavy lifting (literally — they had to move some antique farm implements out of the way first), and preparing the beds by clearing out the old mulch and plantings.

The Village team (L-R): Brandon Boutillier, Jim Scott, Dan Bortle, Mike Bradshaw, Mike Northrup, Jake Swingly. Not pictured: Jim Clancy

Then, a few days ago, museum volunteers convened at Welch’s Greenhouses to purchase the new plantings.

And here’s another “Why I love Webster” moment: Welch’s DONATED $500 in plantings and labor. Not only that, museum volunteers opened up their own wallets to purchase about $200 more in additional plantings.


The same day the volunteers were at Welch’s purchasing their plants, Welch’s owner Bill Vendel and his helper Jake Wilhelm were already at the museum, planting the ones they had donated. By early next week, everything should be in the ground and Swingly and his team will have topped off the job with some new mulch.

When it’s all done, the new gardens will sport a wide and colorful variety of shrubs, annuals and perennials, including hydrangias, junipers, euonymous, weigela, sedum, and more. It’s going to be a spectacular and beautiful welcome for museum visitors.

Check it out for yourself when the museum reopens to the public on August 21 and 28, 2 to 4:30 p.m. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in September. The Webster Museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster.

Here’s a gallery of photos from the plant-purchasing expedition to Welch’s:

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One Response to “The Webster Museum is bloomin’ beautiful!”

  1. Joanne naujokas July 29, 2021 at 1:01 pm #

    Wonderful teamwork helping our museum to be the bright spot on Latham Park.

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