MN Landscape Arboretum Tulips 05.16.2013

I was talking to my mom on Mother’s Day & telling her that I had been working in the garden on Saturday.  She commented that I shouldn’t plant anything until Icen days (pronounce ice in).  I had never heard her say anything like that before & asked her again what Icen days were.  She said that it was an old adagethat always comes around my mom & dad’s anniversary, which hap
pens to be May 18.  She didn’t know how to spell it, she just knew that you shouldn’t plant until then.  I got off the phone & started searching the internet for this mysterious planting timeline.  I finally stumbled across “Ice Men”.  My mom grew up on a farm just outside Port Washington, WI on the shores of Lake Michigan.  It was a strong Luxembourg community & I am sure there was strong accents, as I remember my grandpa & other old timer’s speech.  I am thinking “Ice Men” was either shortened or because of the strong dialect, sounded like Icen.

In any case, the Ice Men are 3 saints;  St. Mamertus, St. Pancras, and St. Servatius, whose respective days occur on May 11, 12, and 13.  However, in the old astronomical calender, they fell on May 19 – 22, hence my mom’s saying that it was around their anniversary.  Anyway, I thought it was an interesting little tidbit, that probably some of our older Herbie’s already know, but I didn’t.  For additional info, check out this link  Farmer’s Almanc; The 3 Ice Men 

As for me, I will definitely not plant anything tender this year until the Ice Men pass.