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Minneapolis Rooftop Landscaping with Custom Elements

Rooftop Landscaping Minneapolis Rendering

Rooftop Landscaping Minneapolis Before

This is one of those jobs you dream about! Not to say it was an easy job to conquer, but we did it as a team, and learned a lot along the way as well. This rooftop landscaping project came to us as a referral from one of suppliers that we buy planters and outdoor furniture from, Twisted Elements, located in the lower level of the International Market Square in Minneapolis, MN. This homeowner went in looking for something out of the ordinary for his rooftop patio in Minneapolis. He really loved the custom metal designs that he saw in their showroom, but needed a landscape company to help conceptualize all the elements and bring it together as a whole. So, David Kopfmann went to the drawing board to create a functional space on this rather large L-shaped rooftop patio (approx. 500 square feet).

David met with the client back in August of 2016 and they discussed what the homwowner was looking for. His top priorities were:

  • Shade for certain times of the day
  • Protection from the wind
  • Colorful plant material
  • Seating area for entertaining
  • Low voltage lighting


Rooftop Landscaping Minneapolis Before

Rooftop Landscaping Minneapolis Before

Since the homeowner had been to the Twisted Elements showroom and saw the metal by MetalSmith’s Design, David started sketching some furniture designs and trellis, to bring to their production studio in Bloomington, MN. It was great that they work with designers, like David, and will custom fabricate really anything that can be built with integrity.

David’s thoughts when designing the trellis, that they would be for functional purposes, as well as an element of art. He wanted to have removable screens made out of an all-weather mesh that the client could keep up when it was windy or sunny and remove them easily when they didn’t need them.

Rooftop Landscaping Minneapolis mockup

Rooftop Landscaping Minneapolis

When choosing the planters, he wanted a very durable material that could with stand the harsh Minnesota temperatures and if needed could be moved more easily. We decided to go with 48” long x 18” wide x 36” high bronze planter from Tournesol, call the Wilshire planter. These fiberglass planters are lighter in weight and offer self-watering containers that fit inside, which is great for an area like a rooftop that wouldn’t have access to a water spigot or for someone that travels and doesn’t have the ability to water daily. This homeowner needed the self-watering containers because his career involves a lot of traveling and in most cases the containers only need to be filled up once per week.

Rooftop Self Watering Container

The Whilshire planters created a few different functions:

  • Privacy
  • Wind Protection
  • Plantings for Added Color
  • Hide the Lighting Wire


The other planter we chose from Tournesol was the Aquarian 48” diameter x 24” high in a royal blue color. We placed these on the narrow, but long area of the rooftop deck. It was a great place to add a pop of color and interest since it wasn’t very functional. Inside each of the planters we had a custom metal trellis made for climbing plants to add height.

Install Tournesol Planters

Install Tournesol Planters

Install Tournesol Planters

We installed low voltage lighting attaching one to each one of the curved trellis tops for entertaining and safety.

Rooftop Landscaping Minneapolis


Rooftop Landscaping Minneapolis Metalsmiths Furniture

The metal furniture was designed out of steel and clear coated for rust protection. David choose steel for the weight of it since this rooftop can have high winds frequently. The table has a steel base with a travertine table top, from Orijin Stone, cut at a curve to soften up the straight lines of the Wilshire planters. For the bench, David found a reclaimed piece off wood for the bench which was fastened to a custom steel base.

Aquarian Planter Tournesol

Install Metalsmiths Rooftop Patio Furniture

This close up shows the heavy-duty screens that we had constructed with toggles for easy installation and removal.

Rooftop Minneapolis Install Wind Screens

This bench brings warmth to the space and an earthy element, which was lacking.

Metal Wood Bench

This image shows the seating area with the wind and sun screens removed. It’s a much need option for those Fall and Spring days when you want to feel the suns warmth.

Install Removable Wind Screens

Of course, the homeowner’s condo is surrounded by glass, so we wanted to make sure it didn’t completely block his view of the city, but enhance it. Who doesn’t love to look out and see plants and trees!

Rooftop Landscaping Minneapolis Skyline View

Old-World Farmstead: An Interview with David Kopfmann

Top View Drawing - Farmington, MN

The landscape design for this home, located in Farmington, MN, was completed in June 2017. Below is an interview with David Kopfmann, founder of Yardscapes and the landscape designer for this project.

Q: Describe the first meeting with the client. 

A: The first meeting with the homeowner was in December 2015. She was referred to us by the architect and past clients. Her hopes for the landscape design was to make it feel like an old-world farmstead. When I first visited the site the home construction had already began. I walked and reviewed the site with the homeowner to give her some ideas.  The grading and driveway were an important part of the design for the home and how she wanted it to look and feel (in terms of size). The homeowners had lived in the existing home on the property for many years and still wanted the home and landscaping to feel connected to the barn and silo.

Q: What were some design challenges?

A: One of the main design challenges for this project was moving the water flow that collected under the back deck. To solve this, I created a walking path with a culvert under it to move the water away from the house. Another challenge was designing a driveway system to the barn, but separate from the circle.

Q: What were some design inspirations for this project?

A: Most of the inspiration came from the architecture of the home, as well as the farm setting — the barns, silo, and fields have long views in all directions. I worked with the long, existing driveway as you approach the house to not to block the tresses (detail).  I wanted the limestone slabs to be visible from the long driveway, but it is also there to support the circular portion of the driveway as well.

Front Entrance and Driveway Drawing Farmington, MN Rear Patio Drawing Farmington, MN

Before Photos – During Home Construction

Driveway Circle Before Front Entrance Before Street View Before Side Patio Garage Before Barn Before in Farmington, MN Barn Before in Farmington, MN

Completed Photos

To creating an old world feel to the driveway we used tumbled pavers.  We used just one size to give the illusion of old street pavers (cobblestone). Limestone and boulder wall was built for aesthetics and function. It is what is supporting the circular driveway, but gives interest as you drive in to the home entrance.

Street View Farmington, MNDriveway Lamp Post Farmington, MNDriveway Circle Farmington, MN

The front sidewalk is fond-du-lac limestone slabs. They are dry set over a clean rock base.  The front walkway bends and compliments the stone on the front terrace and home.  I designed a slight curve to the walkway because of the length to move you through the courtyard hedges and plants that will create a natural fence for privacy, but not feel closed off, once they fill in.

Front Entrance - Porch and Path - Farmington, MNFront Porch Farmington, MNFront Porch and Gate Farmington, MNStone and Metal Gate

Travertine was used for the back patio/terrace to match the stone on the porch. Travertine is very smooth and light in color, so was a perfect choice on the south facing patio when the sun hits it will not get as hot as darker stone. I designed the outdoor kitchen small, but functional, so that it would not block the views from the porch and terraces.

Back Patio Terrace Farmington, MNBack Patio Terrace View Farmington, MNOutdoor Kitchen Farmington, MN

The landscaping added to the barn was planted with assorted perennials and ornamental trees similar to the planting around the home. This makes the barn feel more connected to the home. We also chose specific plant material to attract and feed the birds.

Barn Landscaping and Path

The side patio is located off of the master suite. I created a private outdoor sitting area, which is surrounded by small ornamental trees and a perennial garden.

Side Patio and Garage Farmington, MN


Professionals Involved

Landscape Designer: David Kopfmann, Yardscapes, Inc.

Interior Designer: Stephanie McKenna (Stephanie helped with all aspects of design)

Builder and Architects: The homeowners were general contractors
Behr Design
Treasured Spaces

Irrigation – Twin Town Irrigation
Masory – Nelson Masonry
Large Tree Installation – G & M Tree Moving
Pavers – Belgard Pavers
Plant Material – Bachmans

Success at Minneapolis Home and Garden Show 2017

Still one more weekend to come and talk to the Yardscapes Designers


Friday, March 3rd from 10am – 9pm
Saturday, March 4th from 9am – 9pm
Sunday, March 5th from 9am – 6pm

Click HERE for Show Information

Minneapolis Home and Garden Show 2017

Yardscapes is at the Mpls Home and Garden Show 2017

Visit Our Booth #1455!

Minnneapolis Home and Garden Show:  February 24-26  & March 3-5, 2017

Designers: David Kopfmann, Clayton Johnson, and Lincoln Danforth will be there to help answer any questions you have about an existing or upcoming project!

This "Redesigned Pool" had an Existing Shell that We Carved Away at to Create This Beautiful Pool/Spa Combination.

Artisan Tour Look Book Just Arrived!

The 2016 ARTISAN TOUR Look Book Just Arrived!

All the images are stunning and we wanted to share it with all of you!  These are some of the most talented Builders, Architects, and Landscapers in Minnesota and we were honored to work with Hendel Homes and Twisted Elements on this project! If you get a chance, check it out!

For more project inspiration, check out our galleries

Artisan Tour Look book 2016

Faces of Landscape Design / Build Minnesota 2016

We are excited to be part of the FACES issue in Minnesota Monthly this summer!  You can find all the FACES OF Minnesota in the June 2016 issue. It’s an honor to be with such a great group of Minnesotans!

  • Yardscapes is dedicated to your projects success
  • Yardscapes stands behind its work
  • Yardscapes is creative
  • Yardscapes listens to your visions


Faces of Landscape Design/Build Minnesota Monthly 2016

Fall is here, so let’s start a Fire(place)


This is the best time to have gatherings around your outdoor fireplaces!  Plus, there are so many fireplace options now:

1. Gas or wood burning
2. Fire pit or stand up fireplace
3. Natural stone or brick

Check out our galleries for inspiration

We are a full service Minnesota landscape company that specializes in design and build. We are your one stop shop! 

Outdoor Gas Fireplace on Patio

Stone Vertical Outdoor Fireplace

Woodburning Vertical Outdoor Fireplace

Mpls St.Paul Magazine – “Face of Landscape Design-Build”

Check out our “Face of Landscape Landscapes Design/Build” feature in MPLS.ST.Paul Magazine (December 2014 Issue)

Face of Landscape Landscapes Design/Build

Posted in Magazine, Press

Entertaining Complete

UM, can I come over? Check out this Entertaining Area that Dave Kopfmann just completed.

It even has outdoor heaters installed under the arbor which are super awesome!

Perfect for our (hopefully) nice fall evenings!

Included in these photos are:

  • Outdoor Kitchen with Limestone
  • Mortared Limestone Pizza Oven
  • Mortared Limestone Gas Fire Pit
  • Cedar Wood Arbor
  • Bluestone Patio

Gas Stone Firepit and Cedar Arbor for Backyard Entertaining

Outdoor Patio with Grill, Pizza Oven and Firepit

Side View of Backyard Outdoor Seating

Before and After with a lot of Impact!

Check out this drastic before and after photo in Edina, MN!

The homeowner had just built an addition off the back of their 1950’s walk-out and was in need of a conversation area that overlooked their serene wetlands. They also added a way to move from the front of the house to the back without having to go through the house, along with screening the road and neighbors using a variety of plant material. Clayton and our team nailed it!

Before and After backyard transformation in Edina, MN

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