It's around this time of year as the harvests of tomatoes, peas, sugar snaps, courgettes, chillies, mangetout and broad beans really get going that I tend to forget all about planning for the winter season. Winter cabbages, kale and purple sprouting broccoli should all be sown in the next month or so to be ready to eat once the summer and autumn gluts are dwindling. So, as this year is the 'Year of the Organised Suburban Veg Plot' I've set aside all of the brassicas from my seed tin in order to select what to sow for the winter. And at the same time, glanced around my garden to plan where this veg could be planted out when the time comes. And that's when I noticed a rogue kale plant I omitted to pull up in the spring. It must have been a small one for me to miss though the fact it's in the far corner of the plot and involves clambering over a big pile of canes might be more the reason. As the sugar snaps grew, they obscured it from view - but now it's put on an amazing growth spurt, towered above the peas and broken into flower.
Elsewhere I have a parsnip that was sown in March 2010 - not eating this one was intentional when I happened upon the tip that parsnip flowers attract hoverflies. So I saved my last parsnip, moved it into the broad bean bed and waited. Well, the parsnip certainly flowered on its 5 foot stem, but I've yet to see any hoverflies around it yet. However, it does seem to be acting as a sacrificial plant - simply covered in blackfly while there are none on the broad beans. I guess if the result is the same, then the method isn't that important.