What I did NOT want to do is grow the same bedding plants that are commonly offered commercially. Instead I ordered seed of the following taxa from Select Seeds (good website with a broad selection and useful advice on germination). I am clearing out a patch of lawn that gets, well maybe not FULL sun all day, but hopefully enough to allow me to get satisfaction from my new 'sandbox.' Let me know if you have any particular experience with the following, good or bad . .
Linara maroccana "Rhythm & Blues"
Viscaria oculata (German catchfly?) "Blue Angel"
Agrostemma githago "Ocean Pears"
Linaria maroccana "Northern Lights"
Persicaria orientalis "Cerise Pearls" -- Kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate?!
Mina lobata (Spanish flag)
Anagallis monellii (Pimpernel) "Gentian Blue"
Ammi majus "Graceland"
Cynoglossum amabile "Mystery Rose"
Zaluzianskya capensis (Night phlox) "Midnight Candy"
Orlaya grandilora "White Lace"
Salpiglossis sinuata (Painted Tongue) "Kew Blue"
Echium plantagineum "Blue Bedder"
And some choices that are not uncommon or that I have grown before:
Eschscholzia californica (California poppy)
Ricinus communis (Castor oil bean)