Answer: I understand what you are saying, but I don't find that starting seeds in the shade is quite as "foolproof" as zinnias and cosmos. However, here are some possibilities for shade. Impatiens, coleus, and viola are usually quite easy to grow. I hope this info helps!
Flowers for shade: Perennials -- Anemone, Columbine, Astilbe, Campanula, lily of-the-valley, Dicentra, Digitalis, Ferns, Hosta, daylilies, Liriope, Monarda, Pachysandra, Thalictrum, Vinca, navelwort (Omphalodes cappadocica), blue lungwort
(Pulmonaria angustifolia), pinkroot (Spigelia marilandica), bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora) and sweet violets (Viola odorata).
Annuals -- Begonia, Browallia, Coleus, annual Foxglove, Forget-me-not, Impatiens, Primrose, Torenia, Viola.
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