Randall Glen is open year round, and every season is one you don’t want to miss:
In March, April, and May the daffodils open, the meadows are carpeted with flowers, and the woods are full of wild violets, Lady’s Slipper orchids, and young fern. Dogwood, apple, and peach trees burst into clouds of bloom. Nights are cold–perfect for a wood fire–the days are crisp, and into April we still have occasional snow. We’re plowing the garden for spring planting and gathering woodland delicacies like morels, ramps, and branch lettuce. Sweet wild strawberries ripen in the meadows. The Great Horned Owls fledge their owlets in the nest up on the mountain. Baby goats and lambs are born and soon they’re at play, chasing each other wildly and bouncing in the air as if they’re on springs.
The long, glorious days of summer are here. In June, July, and August the air is filled with butterflies. Goldfinches are everywhere and the bluebirds are feeding their nestlings. Flower gardens run riot, with hummingbirds busy sipping nectar. The meadows are covered with daisies, Black-eyed Susans, and Queen Anne’s Lace. The days are mild, seldom above the 80s, and perfect for outdoors-riding, picnics, or just napping under a tree. The long, cool evenings are filled with fireflies, S’mores around a bonfire, stargazing, and mountain music. We begin harvesting sweet corn and other garden treats, and the blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are ripe for picking. It’s sheep shearing time, and the llamas get a haircut too. Proud mothers shepherd their chicks and ducklings in the barnyard.
Fall brings perhaps the finest weather of the year. In September a fire feels good as the nights dip into the 40s, while days in the 70s make it a pleasure to be outside. Fall wildflowers are head-high and the pastures are lush. Apples begin to ripen and we harvest the garden at its height. With October comes the magnificence of fall foliage, with our mountains absolutely ablaze with every shade of red, gold, and orange set against a brilliant blue sky. With the first frosts we’re gathering black walnuts and roasting chestnuts over the fire. November brings fine cold nights, days in the 40s and 50s, and the magic of walking the woods ankle-deep in colored leaves. With the first snows the horses begin to look like teddy bears in their winter coats, and we might celebrate a white Thanksgiving.
December brings fine cold weather and snow for sledding on our hills. Winter in the Smokies offers the best of both worlds-we have frequent snow but it melts away after a few days, so roads are usually clear for driving. Here at Randall Glen we’re high in the mountains, and even between snows we usually have plenty in shady spots for a good snowball fight. As the holidays near we cut our own Christmas trees and decorate with popcorn garlands and red Bittersweet berries from our woods. Hot cider and blazing bonfires warm the nights. We enjoy skiing at nearby slopes, and the winter sports get even better through January and February. It’s a good time for a bracing day outdoors, a soak in the hot tub with the snow drifting down, then a cozy evening by the fireplace.