The West Concord Green Thumbs are creating an arrangement for the Flora in Winter exhibit at the Worcester Art Museum. Courtesy photo by Worcester Art Museum

Let flowers and art help you beat the winter blues 

February 24, 2024

West Concord Green Thumbs member Debbie Canally creates Fowler Library’s weekly flower displays. This year, she teamed up with fellow Green Thumb member Leslie Bitman for something special: designing an arrangement for the Worcester Art Museum’s (WAM) Flora in Winter extravaganza. 

“Winter is a great time for flowers,” Canally said. “Or at least for flower arranging!” 

A few years back, Bitman went to see the Flora in Winter show and has been going back ever since.  

“I enjoy seeing the magnificent arrangements that garden clubs from throughout the region have created — works of art in their own right,” she said. “When I reached out to see if the Green Thumbs could participate in this year’s exhibit, the answer was yes.” 

Their entry will be among 45 other designs at the Feb. 29-March 3 show. 

“We’re excited to be hosting our 21st annual Flora in Winter and offering a welcome escape from the cold, dark months,” said Marnie Weir, WAM’s Director of Learning and Engagement. “It’s also an opportunity to see the art in fresh ways with this floral takeover of the Museum. Throughout the galleries, floral designers will be reimagining and reinterpreting works of art as flower arrangements.” 

For Debbie and Leslie, the collaboration has been a delightful learning experience.  

“We’ve been consulting with local florists, exploring different flower options,” Debbie explained. “And this week, we’re diving in with a practice arrangement.”  

In the summer, Leslie grows flowers for household bouquets.  

“Creating an arrangement for the Flora in Winter show is altogether different,” she said. “We get to consider a wide range of flowers and how they’ll fit into our designated space. Our location, near a staircase leading to the café, calls for something striking against the backdrop of dark blue-gray walls. We’re envisioning a large vase atop a white pedestal filled with tall, vibrant blooms.” 

Tickets to see Flora in Winter can be reserved online at The show runs for four days, Thursday, Feb. 29–Sunday, March 3. Learn more about the Green Thumbs at