Need ideas for 8w x 40L strip - Easy flowers from seed?

Chicago Suburbs, IL(Zone 5b)

I live in an apartment but the management is pretty easy going and let us do whatever. There are two large areas in the front of my building that have been turned into gardens, one side is "my" side the other was my neighbors side. My neighbor is moving so I am going to take over his side. I am in zone 5b, the garden is about 8 x 40 feet, it is a western exposure and gets sun from about 11 AM - 7PM ish. My neighbor has previously planted annual wildflower type mixes so not much if anything is going to come up and I was going to throw down some compost and hit it with the rototiller.

I do already have some tentative plans for it - I am going to plant some strawberry popcorn and bush beans so that will take up maybe 8 x 10 feet at most. I was also going to plant some fennel, parsley and rue for the caterpillars so that would take up another 8 x 5 ish feet. The rest I would like to plant with something colorful and easy that doesn't require a ton of water or work. Any suggestions?

Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 6a)

Always wished I could plant in the ground when I lived in apartments! How lucky. I am also in Zone 5 and start most of my plants from seeds.

If you don't mind them being annuals-- seeds I've had lots of success starting and which come up fast are, cosmos (which reseed profusely), Marigold, Bells of Ireland, Alyssum, Zinnias, maybe some more herbs like Basil, Cilantro, Chives, and the ones you already said.
Also vines can be super easy to start from seed if you have something for them to grow on. Exotic Love (Mina lobata), Moonflower, Black Eyed Susan Vine, Cardinal Climber, Purple Hyacinth Vine, Morning Glory...

Perennials- Gaillardia, Penstemon, Jupiter's Beard, Obedient Plant, Lupine, Columbine, Coneflower, Red Hot Poker, I could keep going. Let me know if any of these are along the right lines and I can keep thinking. I don't really know the growing conditions of Chicago, but I'm assuming they are somewhat different than Colorado lol. I have started a lot of these (perennials/annuals both) easily from seed in peat pellets, and if I can do it...anyone can!

Hope this helps, maybe others will have ideas for you.

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