Monday, May 17, 2010

The Annual Blooming of the Tree Peony and Stress Testing

Time for the annual blooming of the Tree Peony report. I blogged this when I first bought it, in 2007, and again, last year, when it bloomed, which was May 25, so if you are feeling like stuff is advanced in your garden, you'd be right - as this year, it unfurled it's opulent bud of paper-thin petals on May 15 - a full 10 days earlier than last year.

And, you can see that Soggy, the Loch Scarborough Sea Monster, has already put in an appearance in the pool. The good news is, it cuts down on the amount of dog hair in the house. The bad news is that I won't be able to find a dry towel until September. Vacuuming or laundry - which level of hell do you prefer?

Barely visible in the background behind said sea monster in the line that holds the pool thermometer, suspended from the filter cover - which means tied through a hole in the cover and dangling over the concrete block, and suspended about 3 feet down in the pool. The thermometer stays there, all summer, in full blazing sunlight.

What I have been using for the past 2 years to hang the thermometer is our Satin Rattail cord. It's handsome, functional, and most important, I had some and could find it easily. And what a stress test, eh? If it can survive those conditions . . . it will survive anything.

And survive it does. Last year, I used a dark blue piece, and the year before, I used black. It even keeps it's colour, not fading until my significant other does the annual over-chlorination of the pool - whereby it spends about 3 days with the chlorine level too high, and at that point, the color, where the cord is in the water, will disappear. But despite the constant soaking and intense heat and uv, and wearing on the side of the pool, the cord has lasted admirably well.

This year, it's a change. I'm subjecting the Softflex cable to the same stress conditions (for the same fundamental reason - I had a spool of it handy). I'll let you know next year how it did - if it did well. If it fails prematurely, I'll let you know earlier! ;-)

For the record, I'm using White, and medium strength. I have the strand quadrupled, but that's because I cut way too much. I knotted it to the filter cover (not crimped). We shall see.


jen said...

Beautiful! I have a couple tree peonys as well. They're just starting to bud though. said...

Oh lord, this was funny.

That does say something about a product, surviving water and chlorine. I usually test something by giving it to my 5 year old....

I will have to think about satin rat-tail cording.

dragonjools said...

The ultimate stress test - giving it to a 5 year to play with at the beach?