1. Giving the Heirloom Life: Our 2022 Gift Guide

     At Baker Creek, we are reflecting on another incredible year of gardening and seed saving and feeling so thankful for those who have joined us in nurturing the heirloom seed movement.  

    Heirloom and open-pollinated seeds really are the gift that keeps on giving, and we love nothing more than sharing these incredible seeds and stories with you.  

    Gardening is an act of love, of self-sufficiency, resilience, and health. It is truly special to grow heirlooms – varieties rooted in time and place, seeds that can be saved and shared, year after year.

    As we enter the holiday gift-giving season, we wanted to highlight the creativity and expertise of a few of our heirloom gardening friends and encourage you to support their work by sharing it with others, as well as suggest some favorites from our Baker Creek catalog.

    If you are looking for gift ideas for the heirloom enthusiast (or soon-to-be enthusiast) in your life, here are some ideas! 

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  2. Crocus: A Gorgeous Prelude to Spring

    The crocus is a small and simple bloom, and yet, as their heads begin to peek out of the snow in late winter, we often greet them with elation. If you are someone who eagerly awaits the arrival of spring flowers, you must plant this cheerful early bird!  

    Crocus is a reliable, impressively cold-hardy, and easy-to-grow perennial spring flower that blooms extra early in spring. Crocus is native to the Mediterranean and has been documented as a beloved garden flower for many centuries.  

    Why We Love Crocus 

    • It's an excellent investment! Crocus easily naturalizes and spreads in the landscape.  
    • It’s a pollinator plant! Crocus is one of the first sources of pollen and nectar that early pollinators need as they emerge in early spring. 
    • It’s easy to grow! The bulbs are super care-free and require very little upkeep.  
    • And versatile! Crocus is suitable for rock gardens, perennial
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  3. Plant Hyacinth and Muscari!

    Spring may be the most visually stunning season. Verdant new growth and bold spring blooms saturate the landscape in color ... and yet, when we close our eyes to picture spring, we often recall the fragrances of our favorite early flowering blooms. There is some science to this fragrant phenomenon, as memories associated with smell tend to be more vivid!  

    With its sublime overtones of jasmine, morning dew, and clove, hyacinth is

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  4. Go for the Globes!

    The ornamental allium is a stunning spring-flowering bulb grown for its mesmerizing, globe-shaped flowering heads.  Alliums are reliable and long-lasting perennials that return year after year, offering a dazzling display and a buzzing hub for pollinators. 

    The allium is an inedible member of the onion family, but these ornamentals are a far cry from their odiferous cousins, as they are prized for their large ornamental flower heads.  


    Why Should I Plant Alliums? 

    They are tough! Native to Central Asia, this diverse group can typically be found growing wild in a range of intense habitats marked by hot dry summers, cold winters, and rocky, porous soil. The plants’ rugged nature is just one reason it has found a place in garden design over the centuries.  

    They are diverse! This splendid plant family contains dozens of varieties that range in

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  5. A Family Tradition: The Shirley Hammond Multiplier Onion

    Shirley Hammond and multiplier

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  6. Gibron Jones: Making a Healthier, More Just Food System In St. Louis



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  7. Why Do We Love Pansies?

    With their admirable adaptability, cheerful countenances and vivid variety of colors, is it any wonder pansies are so beloved? They really are flowers for all seasons. You’ll find them blooming in winter gardens of the southern and southwestern U.S., in summer gardens of the north, and everywhere in between. 

    Pansies, or Viola x Wittrockiana, are a 19th century English garden creation bred from Viola tricolor, a wild pansy commonly known as heartsease. Its native range extends from much of Europe to western Siberia and northern Iran. It also has a long history of use in folk and herbal medicine, as a tonic and treatment for epilepsy, skin diseases and respiratory issues such as colds and asthma. 

    But its use wasn’t limited merely to physical ailments, apparently. According to Roman mythology, one of Cupid’s arrows struck a wild pansy, imbuing it with powers of affection and d

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  8. What Are Our Favorite New Varieties for 2022?

    Latin name Papaver orientale is also known as breadseed or opium poppy. The long, slender stems are topped with delicate, papery petals that give way to enlarged seed heads filled with edible blue seeds.



    The breadseed poppy is most likely native to the Eastern Mediterranean. Images of opium poppies have been found in ancient Sumerian artifacts dating to 4000 B.C.



    • Ornamental.
    • Pollinator attractor.
    • Mature seeds are edible poppy seeds. Beds, borders, containers, cottage garden, cut flower garden, cutting garden, wildflower mixes.
    • Opium poppies are extremely popular with honeybees. You will often see multiple bees on each bloom at the same time, loading pollen grains onto their sacs.



    • Seeds germinate in 14-21 days.
    • Surface sow seeds and gently
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  9. Death Spiral Pepper: Fruity and Hot, Hot, Hot!

    Chili peppers are a global crop with roots in the ancient world of the Americas. Christopher Columbus took them back to Spain in 1493, but it was Portuguese explorers who planted the worldwide spread of chilies when they carried seeds from Brazil to India a few years after Columbus. 

    Today’s super-hot varieties like the Carolina Reaper, Devil’s Tongue and Trinidad Scorpion throw down their names like a dare. The Death Spiral, also known as Death Pepper, is a member of the Capsicum chinense family, and it’s a fairly new arrival on the super-hot scene. 

    Jim Duffy of Refining Fire Chiles noticed a variant of th

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  10. How To Plant For Pollinators -- And Why You Should

    In many parts of the world, pollinators like monarch butterflies and bumblebees are in crisis, but there are simple steps you can take, right in your own backyard garden.

    Early findings from the latest annual census of western monarch butterflies wintering along the California coast also offers some reason for optimism: thus far in its 2021 Thanksgiving count, which concludes December 5, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation has recorded more than 100,000 sightings of western monarchs. It is a significant rebound from last year, when Xerces volunteers counted only about 2,000 of the butterflies in its 2020 census. Still, the number is cause for alarm, given that just a few decades ago western monarchs migrated by the millions. 

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