Answer: There are many plants that will grow well for you from seed, including both perennials and annuals. Popular annuals for full sun would include marigolds, petunias, salvias, zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers of many sorts, as well as many of the "old time" favorites such as nasturtiums, morning glories, celosia, strawflowers and batchelor buttons.
Seed-grown easy perennials for full sun might include purple cone-flowers, black-eyed Susans, coreopsis, dianthus, lavender, hollyhocks, shasta daisies, and achillea.
For full shade, your choices will be more limited, especially if there are trees to compete against for light, moisture and nutrients. You might do well to consider planting in tubs or large containers if the competition is severe or perhaps using a groundcover. In any case, some of the nicest seed grown annuals for shade include impatiens and coleus, and choices for easy perennials would include columbine and violas. Unfortunately none of these are terribly tall so you might consider a fence with some perennial vines or perhaps a shrub to screen that view.
Selecting annuals for containers really depends on container size -- large plants really need a large container. After that, the choices are fairly similar to the above based on light conditions.
Since it sounds like you are researching plantings for some fairly extensive areas, you might want to take a look at one or more basic gardening books to help make your choices. Here are some I particularly like and that you might find useful: Gardening for Dummies by Michael MacCaskey ISBN 1-56884-644-4; Perennials for Dummies by Marcia Tatroe ISBN 0-7645-5030-6; and Annuals for Dummies by Bill Marken ISBN 0-7645-5056-X. All three contain good practical information.
The plants I've mentioned are available through Burpee. You may order a catalog at the website http://burpee.com/ or call 1-800-888-1447 Mon.- Fri. 9 am - 8 pm ET, Sat. & Sun. 9 am - 5 pm ET.
Enjoy your new garden!
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