There is a beautiful 30-acre garden park in Wausau called Monk Botanical Gardens and it is used for community events and hiking. It is renowned for its incredible flower and vegetable gardens. It boasts great winding trails, a tree house, beautiful native and local shrubs, water features, trees, stones, and megalithic boulders from the last Ice Age.

Sara’s Storybook Garden (Sara Quirt-Sann) is part of the garden memorial honoring a dedicated “Guardian Ad Litem” who was tragically shot and killed while performing her duties of protecting young children (three other people were also killed).

A fund was created and a local contractor was hired to build a Hobbit House (Tolkien was one of her favorite authors and The Hobbit was one of her favorite books). The committee decided to build a playhouse & reading nook for the children of the community.

The general contractor, Jason Reimer, asked me to teach him how to build the cordwood walls (his father-in-law also helped to get started). What a good student!  
The structure has been erected and it features a round door, walls of cordwood, round windows, a light weight living roof, and places for children to read, tell stories, or have some quiet time.
The living roof of sedums is in the process of being installed.  These are placed in a heavy-duty planting tray (16 plants to a tray). They are lightweight, they are easy to carry, the roof does not have to be mowed and they can be easily removed for maintenance.  IF I was going to build a LIVING ROOF,  (as the Mandalorian would opine),  “This is the Way.”  
Monk Botanical Gardens is a community treasure! 
The purpose for the Hobbit House. 
I love the “look” of the building and how it is low to the ground.  Frank Lloyd Wright would be proud!
What a fine place to read a book!  Thank you to General Contractor, Jason Reimer, for some of the photos. 

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.

If you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at  

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Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

“Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005, 2011, and 2015 Cordwood Conferences, and provided consultation for cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD (2018),  Cordwood Construction Best Practices 2020 (print), and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online Cordwood bookstore.

Click on the picture if you would like to order this “best of the best” DVD (menu below).