Meet the Biophilic Designer With Over 140 Plants (Including a Plant Wall!)

Linnea Bast for In the Weeds With Plant People

The Spruce / Meghal Jordan

In The Weeds With Plant People is a fast-paced interview style series in which plant parents welcome us into their homes and give us a firsthand look at how they live with and care for their many many houseplants.

In This Episode

We’re headed to Philadelphia this week to check out Linnea Bast’s amazing design studio. Once you see it, you’ll be immediately drawn in by the dark wood details and lush green plants everywhere. It’s simply gorgeous. Linnea, who’s name was even inspired by plants (it came from a book called Linnea in Monet’s Garden, which derives from Carl Linneas, who founded the way we name plants today), has a lot of them—over 140.


Inside This 140+ Pennsylvania Plant Collection

Biggest Plant Expense

Her space is stunning. Right away we get to view a vertical garden, her biggest plant expense. It features a collection of plants and is self-watering. The water gets pumped up from a tank and then all the plants get watered through a drip line irrigation system.

Most Unique Plant

Her most unique plant is a string of bananas which is trailing very long. “You just don’t see a lot of plants that look like this,” says Linnea. The next plant we get to see is a variegated rubber tree, which she says she’d be reborn as if she were a plant, “I just love the margins and the midrib.” She told us that in the wild it can grow 50 to 100 feet tall! 

How She Procured Her Collection and Her Plant Inspiration

Linnea’s ollection is unique because she hasn’t just purchased all of her plants. In fact, she ended up with a bunch of air plants after a hurricane knocked them out of a tree and they scattered themselves on her sister's patio. She scooped them up, packed them in her carry on bag and brought them home. Another plant that she’s gotten from her family is Ophelia the Philodendron Bipennifolium. Her parents got this plant as a wedding present over 40 years ago.

It’s fitting as her inspiration behind her plant collection is her grandma who she grew up visiting gardens and learning about different species with. In fact, her most expensive plant, a variegated Monstera Albo, belonged to her grandmother. Linnea had no idea that it was a variegated version of the Monstera and they can be worth thousands of dollars.

Her Plant Lookalike and the One That Gives Her the Most Trouble

Linnea says she thinks she looks most like her tradescantia fluminensis variegata because of how “wild and crazy it looks.” And any good plant parent still has that one plant that is tricky no matter what they try. For Linnea it’s her Boston fern. “I feel like I look at this plant differently and it just gets all sort of brown spots on it.” Her favorite plant quality is texture and she says that her Baby’s Tears has some of the best texture out of her collection. 

Why Plants Are Good for Her

When asked if plants make you a better person her response is wonderful: “I think plants really make me appreciate the little things.” So go ahead, press play, and appreciate this gorgeous collection.