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  1. My ground workers are moling my water pipe today in my access road. All going well. There is one duct for an electricity cable (see photo). They are proposing to go OVER the duct with the water pipe. The water pipe will be only 300mm deep at the point. Is that ok? Would it be at risk of freezing? Should I kick up a fuss and ask them to go UNDER the exposed duct SO its depth is 800mm as it is for the rest of the run?
  2. Having completed the initial groundworks last year (see Part 15) it was great to get the digger back and be able to spread the remaining sub and top soil over our site. All in all, there has been around 150 hours of digger time to get all of the site landscaped. Other than using stone excavated on site to edge parts of the driveway and round the back of the house, most of the digger time (supplemented for earth moving with a dumper) has been spent on earthworks. At the front of the house, we had formed our terraces last year so 'only' had to cover with top soil. At the rear of the house, a lot more work was required as we had to spread what was still a sizeable amount of subsoil, before we could finish with topsoil. The result of all that work was a barren 'moonscape' of soil. Having considered all of my gardening options, and in particular the exposed nature of our site, I opted to go for a very simple garden scheme - a mix of lawned grass and wildflower meadow. With 2/3 of an acre to seed, I opted for the big guns and got a local farmer in to power harrow and air seed the meadow areas. He also harrowed and raked the lawned areas for me, but they did require good old human input to get an acceptable and stone light (I won't say free) bed on which I could sow lawn seed. I sourced both lawn and meadow seed from a local merchant, opting for a local species rich meadow mix, boosted with some annual and bird/bee wildflower seeds. On those areas which the air seeder couldn't reach, I used an aero broadcast seed sower / "fiddle" sower. For those who haven't used one, it's a very simple yet effective bit of kit. The lawn seed was sown at a rate of around 45g / sq m, and the meadow grass at 3g /sq m (to allow space for the wildflowers to grow) 6 weeks on, the grass has established itself and our site is starting to look rooted in its surroundings. Looking forward to next year to see some colour in the meadow areas. Stone lined entrance - large stone will eventually have a house name sign on it. Driveway, lined with timer (old 75mm posts) and small stones at the corner Meadow area - depending how this looks, the lawn area may be extended back a little to shape the meadow with flowing curved lines. You can see our treatment plant at the bottom right of this photo. A diversion channel filled with stone and small stones around the plant lid are in place to prevent water running onto the lid and flooding the pump chamber. The slope between the two terraces has been sown with wildflower meadow grass, so the terraces are hidden when looking from the road below. if this doesn't work / look quite right, I have the option of converting to lawn grass. How we have finished the space between the two sections of the house. It will of course take time for the grass to get properly established, and no doubt there will be many changes made, but overall things are looking good and the house feels that it should be there / always has been there. Meantime, we are just waiting for the fencer to come and erect two new boundary fences and replace an existing one to enclose the site from the adjacent field and neighbouring site.