In my yard, everything is open pollinated. The bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies spread pollen from flower to flower. There's no telling what mix you might get from year to year. This is most evident in the black eyed susans. Early spring bloomers have started releasing their seed pods. Some have already been scattered around the yard. Some will be collected for trading. Most will be returned to the soil just before it rains for next year's plants.
Sweet Williams. I'm sending most of these to the backyard, especially the pink and white crape myrtle bed which needs some early color.
Columbines have already produced a lot of seed. Sown fresh, they will germinate this year and probably bloom next spring. I'm filling mostly shady spots with these plants.
Peonies. I've never grown peonies from seed, but I know it's possible. I might wintersow them, in summer.
Red Hot Pokers. There are a LOT of seeds on these two plants. I'll probably collect them instead of scattering them. People love these plants that start out looking like fine blades of grass. It takes 2 years for blooms from seed. Year three is where mine are now.
Poppies. I'll scatter them as soon as they are ripe. They'll germinate when it's time.
Mountain bluet seeds are hard to collect. These seedlings are beneath the current plants. Once they get a little size to them, I'll move them around this fall to areas that still need spring color. The parent plants need to be cut back soon.
Dusty Miller has just started to bloom. Planted in the fall of 2009, these plants have gotten huge. The blooms float about 2 feet above the soil. If I remember, the seeds are like dust.
Grown from scattered seeds, the annual Monarda citriodora is one of my favorites. After it blooms, it can be cut back for a repeat bloom. I did this twice last summer. The seeds are collected by shaking the spent blooms over a container.
Speaking to Cameron at Defining Your Home Garden, I've decided to scatter seeds as soon as they ripen. This seems the most natural method as it's what happens when there's no gardener present. Nature takes care of enough seeds to create a new crop each year. I'll save a few seeds just in case. You never know what could happen over the winter.
It's currently 81 degrees and pouring rain. Heavy thunderstorms are about to move through the area. The rain is expected to last a few hours.