Creativity In Bloom

Poppy Jar Flowers cultivates connections and is a growing passion for the Lindsays in St. Michaels

Written by Kristen Hampshire  |  Photography by Jill Jasuta

The only thing Cristina Lindsay had ever grown was a humble aloe plant on her balcony while living in Europe. That is, until 2017 when she and her husband, Josh, happened upon a cottage in Easton, after several years of Airbnb stays on the Eastern Shore to escape the congestion of life in Washington D.C. Both are practicing attorneys.

A modest property felt like “acres, endless space,” says Cristina, who immediately noticed confetti spread of wildflowers amid overgrown beds, where some beauties popped up among the thatch. “I have always loved flowers and arranging the ones I buy at the store,” she says, adding, “I had never grown a single thing.”

This quickly changed when the couple bought the home and began stealing away from Georgetown to the Shore. Growing up, Cristina recalls, “Whenever I was near flowers, I would pick them and make a little bouquet.”

After settling in a bit, she began growing more flowers, rehabbing existing beds and enlisting in Josh to build new ones, eventually doting over eight 9-by-3-foot raised flower beds. “We did it all ourselves,” she says, noting how the newfound hobby was a creative escape.

Seemingly overnight, hundreds of tulips bloomed and there were many stems to spare, so they began delivering them to friends in the city. “We hitched our porch fridge to a trailer attached to our jeep and brought them into town,” Cristina says.


The Lindsays move to St. Michaels has enriched their family dynamic and fostered new relationships across the community through Poppy Jar Flowers.

Flowers for Sale. The cottage industry venture was quite modest at first. Ultimately, Poppy Jar Flowers was born out of curiosity, connection and craft. 

Now seven years later and settled into a 4.5-acre St. Michaels “forever home” they acquired in 2020, the five-week spring subscription service sells out, Cristina fashions flower arrangements weekly for Rouse Restaurant at The Wildset Hotel, holds pop-up shops at The Mill Salon + Apothecary, fulfills bridal orders—and has made dear friends and coveted community relationships, all thanks to Poppy Jar Flowers.

“As someone who moved from the city to a small town, the flowers really allowed us to meet people here locally,” Cristina says. “And now there are customers who reached out and we have become friends.”

“As someone who moved from the city to a small town, the flowers really allowed us to meet people here locally. And now there are customers who reached out and we have become friends.”

Life, Off the Docket. You can’t quite call it a side shuffle. It’s more a way of life, off the docket.

After moving to St. Michaels, the Lindsay’s growing space multiplied—and so did production. From the sprinkle of wildflowers that inspired a passion grew a new area of study for Cristina. “I was making connections with growers in the area, educating myself by watching tutorials, ordering seed, and there was a lot of trial and error,” she says.

Poppy Jar Flowers’ bandwidth encompasses 17 beds, 4-by-30-feet in size—again handmade at home. This doesn’t count the multiple rose gardens. The business offers seasonal flower subscriptions, custom arrangements and event florals. If you happen to land on a spring week when an excess is plucked from beds and not claimed by reservations, you could get lucky. There are two weekly pickup days and two delivery days. Sometimes, there are stems to spare.

“They are interesting, unique varieties—the luxury flowers you would have in your wedding bouquet, but you can have them delivered to your house on a Wednesday,” Cristina describes, an entrée into the research she dedicates toward sourcing uncommon seeds and bulbs.

From gardening forums to sharing new varieties bred by growers, she’s on a constant treasure hunt. She orders bulbs from a wholesaler, scouring countries like Holland and Italy for innovative blooms like Ranunculus and Anemone.

Oh, the Colors—Saturated and Divine.
“Oh my gosh, the pinks, blushes, whites, yellows, oranges, they are magnificent,” says Cristina, bubbling over with an enthusiasm relayed in the final product and warm reception from recipients. Dialing back to pandemic lockdown flower deliveries, she relates, “People were lonely. They wanted flowers, so we were delivering them during full lock down and people obviously felt a need for them. It was a way to communicate and show you care without seeing them in person.”

Growing Together.
Their youngest son Adrian’s first word was “poppy.” Both boys, forage for bouquet scraps and floral treasures that have fallen to the cutting room floor to assemble their own tiny bundles, gifts for mom. “My oldest, Lucas, planted most of my plugs this year, and they help with weeding, washing buckets, harvesting, processing—truly, they do it all,” says Cristina, affirming, “it’s a family activity—it brings us all joy.”

Josh manages the financials and website. Cristina is the creative, overseeing the flower farming and artful flower displays. The kids are farm-hands-of-all-trades, gaining life skills and inspiration along the way and without realizing it, of course.

In fact, flower farming and cultivating creativity in nature teaches a great deal. “I am not in control of anything,” is a take-away for Cristina, who adds, “No matter how much planning or work I put in, everything can change quickly. This has taught me to let go a little bit and take things as they come, pivot, come up with solutions and now dwell.”

For example, pest problems are an unavoidable byproduct of growing edibles or flowers. It’s frustrating. “Every year it seems a new pest comes along, and you have to find preventive measures,” Cristina relates, calling their property an ecosystem of its own. “I have pests my neighbors don’t have.”

Another lesson for Cristina is reflected in the portfolio of beauty growing in the raised beds on their property. Focus. While she dotes over roughly 5,000 tulips, poppies from around the world, and a couple hundred garden roses—you can’t grow it all.

Generally, she grows about 15 different varieties during spring subscription season, backs off when the pests ramp up in the heat of summer, and pops veggies into the ground. This venture also produces lots of leftovers she shares with friends and neighbors. “I’m trying to keep it manageable, and I really have been honing in on what works here, and spring works,” she says.

Reflecting on the journey, she says, “The wildflowers growing on the property were simple, but I loved them and that was the gateway. And what has been the most gratifying is the community of people I have met who have become, really, my best friends solely because of the flowers. It has been an amazing way to be more in touch.”

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