1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mr. Zucchini Blossom: She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not...

My World Tuesday

Since Mr. and Mrs. Zucchini Blossom started keeping monoecious Zucchini House together, I've been waiting patiently for some Junior zucchinis to liven up the garden--and my kitchen--with their presence. With two sexes occupying the same plant, you would think that their getting together for some lovin' in the morning wouldn't be a problem. They should already have a busload of Juniors by my reckoning. I admit to salivating at the thought of those tender, young zucchinis I would grate to make zucchini cake and bread or steam to serve with herbed butter or slice to add to my favorite lasagna recipe. The bees fly about early in the morning, adding their sweet buzz to a chorus of birdsong, and filling up their pollen baskets at the large, attractive Mr. Zucchini Blossom to share with diminutive Mrs. Zucchini Blossom. Wait a minute, though! Either Mr. ZB said something to Mrs. ZB last night to get her torqued, or the thought of having Juniors these days is too much for her to bear. What with rising healthcare costs and tuition expenses, not to mention purchasing a new school wardrobe and classroom supplies every year--Mrs. ZB isn't being at all receptive to Mr. ZB's pollen. She has her career to think about, you see. She's photogenic and doesn't want her shapely form to be marred by the weight of those developing youngsters, especially if someone's not around to regularly take them off her hands... Okay, the truth of the matter is that I'm stumped by this conundrum.

When I gardened in the Midwest, I could count on my summer squash plants to produce a bumper crop. I looked forward to it. Why then, should my Florida garden be any less fruitful? The state is number one in summer squash production, so where are those tender zucchini I'm waiting for?

I don't have a problem growing plums in Florida...

...or blueberries. And these trees and shrubs are still young. Mrs. ZB, on the other hand, has a biological clock that's running down in a hurry. Only a few weeks remain before her chances at motherhood are history. I guess I'm going to have to intervene in this fruitless-so-far-hermaphrodite-zucchini love story. It won't be easy, considering the distance between me and my garden. I'd ask our renter to take the drastic measure, but I think she's a little squeamish about undressing zucchini blossoms and dusting stigmas. Next visit home, if those Juniors aren't already taking over Zucchini House, I'll be playing bee. It's no great leap from being occasionally referred to (under someone's breath) as a "B--," so it shouldn't be too much trouble. Here are some great directions published by UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to help me get started. If Shakespeare didn't mind encouraging the generation of some offspring, then neither do I.

Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest
Now is the time that face should form another,
Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest
Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.
For where is she so fair whose uneared womb
Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?
Or who is he so fond will be the tomb
Of his self-love, to stop posterity?
Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime;
So thou through windows of thine age shalt see,
Despite of wrinkles, this thy golden time.
But if thou live remembered not to be,
Die single, and thine image dies with thee.

Just a little extra note here: I should have put a link to Chandramouli's site to thank him for the inspiration for this post. He's a wonderful storyteller and lets his imagination transform mundane into sublime.


  1. Good luck on the zucchini front! I, too, am waiting for some tender young zukes, but at the grocer! And to make into a delicious mushroom-zucchini pie! ~karen

  2. Patience my faithful gardener. Florida will deliver. We just do things a little slower:)

  3. If all else fails, I go to the farmers market. I really wish you luck in your squashy endeavor.

  4. Hope Mrs. ZB makes it. She should understand her responsibility shouldn't she? She can always exercise to get back to shape and what are maternity leaves for? :D
    Hope you get to taste yummy ones this year. Good luck!

  5. Ha ha ha! I think you figured it out is all Mrs. ZB's fault...she really doesn't want to lose her slender sexy self, or contend with any juniors!!! I see her slyly shaking her head up and down and giving me a wink!

  6. Don't worry they are a coming and you may get more juniors than you need. They look great already!

  7. I've been considering taking the same actions with my gourds. They only have a couple blooms but we don't have a lot of bees this year. Maybe I should act sooner rather than later. I will be a little annoyed if I let this gourd vine swallow the entire yard and get not gourds in return.

  8. Karen, anything with mushrooms and zucchini has got to be good. Of course, not everyone agrees with me, including my husband. He balked a little when I put mushrooms in a quiche I made a couple of days ago. He prefers those kinds of mushrooms with very little flavor. What's the point, though?

    TFB, I've heard patience is a kind of fruit, so at least I won't be hungry while I wait!

    You're right, of course, Rosey. The farmers' market never fails as a gardener's last resort. Thanks for the good luck wishes.

    Thanks, Chandramouli! Your garden storytelling style inspired this post, and I should have given you credit. Well, I am now. That's funny: maternity leave!

    Julie, haha! She's not quite as slender in the hips as Mr. ZB, but she is kinda vain anyway. I wish my video of the bees working around the plant would have uploaded. It's funny watching them ignore the Mrs. She's acting the primadonna.

    Tina, the juniors would be a welcome sight indeed. I just hope the bugs don't take over before they arrive. The plants are already getting chomped on.

  9. aloha,

    yes you can post anytime afterwards, i keep it open for a month :) i remember getting a bumper crop of zucs in sonoma, but sadly they are eaten up by critters in hawaii so its useless trying...oh well there are trade offs.

  10. Haha junior Z will soon supply you with more than enough delectable vege.

  11. Great post - fun to read. It's so annoying when you don't know why things like that are happening!

  12. Marnie, what is it with the bees this year? Or maybe it's the plants. The bees must not be happy with my selections. Maybe Shakespeare was onto something with that dread of gillyvors!

    Noel, thanks! I don't have many tropicals in my NW Florida yard--we get too many frosty days in the winter--but I think I can come up with something to go along with your meme. I know you're an easygoing fella.

    I hope you're right, Glennis! Just want you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed your account of the boat trip.

    Thank you, Maureen. There are plenty of Florida gardening puzzles to keep me busy for a long time. I'm glad. I plan on staying here for as long as I'm allowed.

  13. Oh maybe Mrs. ZB supports birth control now but I hope she'll give it up soon and have juniors!!

    Inspired by your old post about blueberries, I bought a seedling of the blueberry!!

  14. Perhaps you should put out a few scented candles and put on some soft music so Mr. and Mrs. ZB can get in the mood:) I do hope you get some Juniors out of all this, W2W. Usually, unless the squash beetles decide to intervene, I don't have a problem with getting enough zucchini; typically, I have way too many. Good thing I help to support them, or Mr. and Mrs. Z could never afford all those offspring:)

    Enjoyed your post!

  15. Hope Mrs ZB listens to The Old Bard and as Chandramouli said, get back into shape.

    A real creative way to unfold a gardening experience.Loved it:)

  16. Funny! Don’t you love eating Zucchini blossoms? The taste of summer. I love how you added some Shakespeare to the garden post too. Sorry to be slow to visit - just back from Canada for our anniversary.

  17. Well, I don't know how it happened but mine must be related to yours. Even my pumpkins are not even dating. Funny tho, I do have 1 small pumpkin of which the leaves look different than the ones that don't even look at each other. Most didn't even come up.
    I too was looking for those mouth watering jewels.

  18. Sapphire, I'm glad I could help with some blueberry inspiration. You might want to buy some friends for your seedling to keep it company. A different cultivar would help in the pollination and subsequent fruit set.

    Thanks, Rose. Florida veggie gardening has been more of a challenge than I ever thought possible. You know, I haven't tried the romantic mood setting routine. The neighbors would really have a field day with that!

    THL, I would consider reading Shakespeare out loud in the garden, if that would enhance the mood. I'm glad you liked the post.

    Sarah, now an anniversary trip to Canada sounds very romantic. I've never tried eating zucchini blossoms. If the juniors never show up, I guess I'll have to try the blooms. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Lola, at least it's not just my zucchini that are playing hard to get. I wonder if the unusually cold winter we just had in Florida contributed to the plant frigidity? ;)

  19. It may have, but for the past 2/3 yrs mine haven't even looked at each other. I think a spray for mosquitoes have done it's deed too.
    I just can't believe I can't grow one of the easiest plants there are.
    Forget cukes to.

  20. I've read that bumblebees and other native bees will readily pollinate blueberries, so there's no problem with them, even though their pollen is heavy. It must be that the cucurbits are partial to the honeybee pollination. Maybe they smell sweeter to the flowers than the other bees:) I do know that honeybees are scarce around where our home is. I have had a few cukes, but they are small and misshapen so the pollination must not be taking as well as it should. I think next year I might not waste space on the zukes and cukes and just plant something else. The mystery is kinda fun to think about, though.