The Saints of Ice is a European folklore fable to the final, brief, but intense spell of cold weather during springtime. The frost usually falls on the birthdays of St Mamertus, St Pancras and St Servatius. The three days between May 12 and May 15 is also referred to as ‘the black-thorn winter.’
Here in the French countryside, the old folk warns you not to plant your tomato seedlings in the open until Saints de glace has safely passed. Low and behold I had the nerve to swim a few days ago and now we light the hearth every day for some much needed warmth. There is nothing in the world like the magical song of a log on the fire. I always sprinkle some dried laurel and sage leaves onto the fire that leaves the kitchen smelling wonderful.
I did not heed the old folks warnings about the tomatoes, but I was wise enough protect them with some garden domes ( no Angel, not garden gnomes…) for the unexpected blasts from the ‘black-thorn winter.’