Nick Rivers


Nick Rivers M.F.A.

Landscape Designer


My landscape career began as a project manager working for a landscaping company on large outdoor projects near Lake Minnetonka. I worked extensively with city inspectors, contractors, landscape crews and clients to ensure that projects were built to code and to client satisfaction. I also worked as an independent landscape designer for several years drafting planting and hardscape plans all over the Twin Cities before eventually joining The Mustard Seed.

As a young boy my mother would pay me a penny for each dandelion I pulled from our lawn. This taught me the value of hard work and our responsibility to be stewards of the earth. Each year we took a family picture next to the crabapple tree when it bloomed and one of my fondest memories when I was young was to watch the morning glories begin to blossom on our white picket fence. Enjoying plants and the outdoors was a passion that eventually became a career, but my path to landscape design has been a winding one; making stops in remodeling design, carpentry, museum fabrication, public art projects, 3D printing and prototyping, and more. In 2012 I decided to return to school and receive my Master’s in Fine Arts from Minneapolis College of Fine Arts. I didn’t realize that this journey would help me see my love and talent as a Landscape Designer but with each new growing season God has revealed to me more and more my gift of working with others to create beautiful outdoor spaces.

I’m very excited to be a part of The Mustard Seed’s team! I feel blessed to be able to work with others to create beautiful spaces while giving the praise and glory to God. I think my favorite part of designing is thinking about the garden’s “year-round” appeal so I like to incorporate plants which can be enjoyed in the winter as well as the summer. I’m very interested in native species and because I live on the Mississippi River I’m especially attracted to spaces that think holistically about gardens and spaces in relationship to places both near and far. What plants thrive in particular soils? What plants foster good habitat for animals? What plants enhance the natural landscape? These are central questions to my design process. Alongside working with the Mustard Seed I also maintain an active studio practice as a Sculptor and Painter and teach Adjunct at Northwestern University and Minneapolis College of Art and Design. My experience as an artist informs my landscape design process and aesthetics. I use my “art brain” to help my “plant brain.” I hope I have the opportunity to work with you on your next outdoor project. Cheers and many blessings!

-Nick