Nicola Harrington - guest blogger living in France with 7 holiday rental gites

Nicola Harrington

French sayings are found in abundance in that rich and beautiful language. For instance, the French have a wonderful saying for this very temperamental weather we are experiencing.

En Avril ne te découvre pas d’un fil.

En Mai fais ce qu’il te plait.

Or, the English translation…

In April, don’t take off a thread.

In May, do as you please.

After living in France for quite a few years, I have learnt that the French do pay attention to their sayings, or “dictons”, and there is practically a different one for each day of the year. For instance, on Saint Catherine’s day:

A la Sainte Catherine, tout bois prend racine.

On Saint Catherine’s day, every planted tree takes root.

In other words, on that day, which falls on November 25th, any plant, tree or shrub that you plant is guaranteed to take root, grow and thrive!



As I have been spending a lot of time with my wife’s family in France over the years, I have been made aware of the famous Saints de Glace (Ice Saints). These are taken extremely seriously by French gardeners. There are 3 of them: St. Mamertus, St. Pancras, and St. Servatius. They fall between the 11th and 13th of May. Basically, gardeners are advised not to plant anything too delicate until after these 3 days, as frosts are still likely. Since being made aware of this, I have been quite astonished (and amused) to see how often these are mentioned among the French, including on French TV news!



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