Springing into Summer!

New Englanders know that Spring takes its time to unfold in these parts, especially in a coastal town like Newport. Looking back, we thankfully have the 42,000 daffodils planted around our property to let us know that Mother Nature has flipped the switch to maximum production! In Newport, the entire month of April is dedicated to these cheerful blooms. At last count, there are some 1.3 million daffodils that bloom in the early Spring in our City by the Sea!

The Sign at the entrance to Castle Hill INN

At the Castle Hill entrance, the cheerful yellow and white blooms greet our guests. There are several different varieties of daffodils planted throughout our forty-acre property.

Daffodils on the Lawn with Ocean in background

Daffodils stretch towards a pale blue sky against the deep green background of the Chalet lawn and the deep blue expanses of Narragansett Bay.

Path to beach at Castle Hill adorned by Daffodils

Yellow daffodils line a path to the sea.

Fog over the water looking out from The Lawn

The perimeter of the Lawn is hemmed with daffodils where a lone goose peers out into the foggy depths of the East Passage.

Boulder on the Castle Hill Lawn surrounded by Daffodils

A remnant of the last glacial age – a boulder of pudding stone is festooned with yellow daffodils.

The biggest story of May aside from the greening up of the landscape and the flowering of the trees was the return of the Ocean Race to Newport. Five IMOCA 60s left Itajai, Brazil for Newport but only three sailed in including the hometown 11th Hour Racing Team who won the 4th leg of the race! Two additional boats suffered a dismasting at sea: Team Holcim (Switzerland) rejoined the Race from Newport after being escorted here by cargo ship, while Team Guyot environment (Europe) has of yet not rejoined the race.

Ocean Race boat goes sailing by the Lawn

As seen from the Castle Hill Lawn, 11th Hour Racing arrives in their home port of Newport to win the 4th leg of the Ocean Race on May 10, 2023.

The In-Port Races scheduled for Saturday, May 20 were postponed due to torrential rain and the possibility of thunderstorms. They were incorporated into the beginning of Leg 5 on Sunday, May 21st. Spectators from the Lawn at Castle Hill filled the Adirondack chairs and enjoyed the addition of a grill station set up near the Adirondack Bar for the occasion.

Outdoor Grill Station on the Lawn

Cooks prepare for outdoor grill

Adirondack Chairs on the Lawn.

The weather was perfect for soaking up the rays, watching the sails, and sipping refreshing beverages.

Team Malizia (Germany) barely beat out 11th Hour Racing (USA) to win the In-Port Race and the four boats were out to sea again on Leg 5. Following a collision out at sea with a suspected marine mammal that left two crew members injured (ocean racing is no walk in the park), the 11th Hour Racing Team was again the first to arrive in Aarhus, Denmark — winning the 5th leg of the race! They are now in the lead overall with everybody in good health.

Spectators on the Lawn watch the Ocean race boats head out to sea

11th Hour Racing and Team Malizia approach the finish line of the In-Port Race and the start of Leg 5 of the Ocean Race.

Now that we have passed Memorial Day weekend and enjoyed the finest weather imaginable for the unofficial start to summer, we look forward to a season of timeless memories on the lawns, terraces, bars, beaches, cottages, decks, gardens and anywhere in between of our forty magical acres.

– Shea C Nelson