Small is the new BIG for many gardeners. Millennials and Baby Boomers are the two largest age segments in the United States. And the majority of individuals in these groups live in smaller living spaces. Research shows that more than 50% of Millennials are choosing to live in cities, while many Baby Boomers are downsizing homes or moving to condominiums. These trends have resulted in a demand for compact plants that fit into small gardens or can be grown in containers. The movement also changes some of the ways we think about garden design. (Evan, a Millennial and me, a Baby Boomer)

My husband’s and my move into a little end unit condominium seven years ago, made me a more savvy gardener. Every plant that was granted a spot in this ‘high real estate plot’ had to provide twice, if not three times the length of colorful appeal – plus always have a tidy appearance. I significantly raised the ‘plant entry bar’. Below is a short list of some my perennial superstars. My one-hour recorded garden lecture Designing Small Gardens with Big Attitudes goes into much more detail on design tips and outstanding plants. Another terrific resource is Garden Design’s feature 5 Lessons from a Small urban Garden. For more inspirational ideas check out Garden Design’s design ideas page. And while you are at it, sign up for their fantastic monthly FREE newsletter that over 95,000 gardeners enjoy.

Superhero Perennials. Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan) ‘American Gold Rush’; Coreopsis (Tickseed) ‘Zagreb’ and ‘Starlight’; Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and ‘Azure Rush’; Agastache (Hyssop) ‘Blue Fortune’ , ‘Blue Boa’, and ‘Rosie Posie’; Calamintha nepeta subsp. nepeta; Echinacea (Coneflower) ‘Cheyenne Spirit’, Sombrero ‘Tres Amigos’, ’Pow Wow Wild Berry’; Brunnera (Siberian Bugloss) ‘Jack Frost’ and ‘Jack of Diamonds’; Carex ‘Everillo’ and ‘Everest’; Sedum in the Sunsparkler series, ‘Atlantis’ and ‘Mr. Goodbud’; Heuchera (Coral bell) ‘Wild Berry’ and ‘Grape Expectations’; and Hakonechloa (Hakone Grass) ‘Aureola’ and ‘All Gold’.