Hi I’m Lesley a mom of 3 grown boys and wife to a wonderful husband of 32 years! Mike my hubby is amazing cook, gardener and now Bee Keeper. I love to cook, garden, bake, build, design, decorate and create. I collect seeds, plants and art supplies rather than shoes, and LOVE fresh cut flowers from my garden.
Our little farm has evolved over the years growing and taking form as we add a little barn here and a little barn there, along with many gardens and pathways all intertwined through 10 acres of very tall trees, gardens fruit and Fig orchards. At the heart of our property is one of the best feature, a large and very deep trout swimming pond.
I visited our property 20 years ago after taking a garden tour here (previous owners) which featured over 50 Rhododendron. I fell in LOVE. Our family had lived in Nanoose Bay for over 25 years and just finished building a house. One day 17 years ago I drove by this property and saw the realtor put the sign up - Estate for Sale. We bought it two days later full asking price no subjects. As a stay at home Mom of 3 little boys, with one income this decision was a huge leap of faith and very stressful time in our life as this house needed some work but the property had so much potential. My head and heart was FULL of ideas! I am so grateful for the help we received at that time from family and friends. Moving, painting, removing old wall paper, repairs and maintaining the gardens as It all came together.
I love designing a space that is
comfortable and cozy. A place that is
perfect for creating art, entertaining a large garden party or enjoying a quiet evening at home. I love to bringing
beautiful elements together old and new to create something special.
I met the love of my life Mike at College in Vancouver and we married 4 years later. We bought our first house at 23 years old, a 3 story heritage home in Steveston, BC - Loved this home, but Mike's career plans and the selling of my Graphic Arts company I owned with my brother led us to Vancouver Island in 1996.
I'm very proud of my 3 sons Zachary, Brody and Noah all productive, strong and healthy young men finding their way through life with their careers along side their beautiful girlfriends. We are home Share parents to Nolan who has Down Syndrome who has grown up with ours boys "his brothers". He recently came to live with us full time and he is an amazing young man who is very helpful on our farm and brings so much joy, love and laughter to our family. We have been international School Dist69 host parents and Oceanside Generals Hockey Billet parents to some amazing kids from around the world, many of whom still call me their Canadian Mom.
I often stop and give thanks and I'm so grateful for our life, our family, friends,
home and our farm we have worked
very hard to create.
My grandmother Lea was a huge influenced on me she always had a big garden and canned everything and anything. My Mom who is very artistic mentored me with pottery over the years as she ran a ceramics studio when I was a young girl. Mike was raised on a blueberry farm his mom and Dad both immigrants from Croatia love gardening and Nana has taught us a lot about cultivating plants and gardening.
My Dad is also very creative woodworker and engineered many computer numerical control (CNC) router tables, he has taught me and gifted me many wood tools over the years and a CNC table which I still need to master!
Nanoose Bay Art in the Garden was always a dream of mine from the first year after buying this property but our young family, school, football and Rep Hockey all came first. It took me getting sick in 2010 with Bells Palsy to "stop and smell the flowers" and realize I needed to redirect my busy life in a more creative busy but productive way. I stopped my part time job, stopped volunteering and focused on creating this dream with the help of family and great friends who help encourage me to just go for it!
Years later I then turned our workshop into BumbleBees Creative Studio with the help of my Hubby, Dad and friends. Next came the kilns, pottery, after school Art program, ladies workshops, and Kids Art Camps!
My dream is to build a much bigger Art studio by the pond along with a artisan market and produce from our farm. The plan is starting to take place and I'm hopeful for spring of 2023 the build will be well on its way!
The Pandemic 2020... I closed my studio cancelled all events, baked bread, cinnamon rolls, did a ton of landscaping, fencing and a few home renovations. 2020/21 has taught us so many things, resilience, patience, tolerance and has brought us so many blessings along with Honey Bees and we officially named our little farm BumbleBees Farm & Garden.
Gardening is my yoga, meditation and relaxation. A new tractor in 2020 that I can operate got me through the rough times of the pandemic. I am very lucky to have a very supportive handy Hubby who with a little persuasions goes along with most of
my crazy but FUN ideas!
I love that I have some of the most amazing, very creative, supportive and beautiful friends! Jennifer, Kris, Lyndsey, Kim, Merrien, Audrey, Sue, Wendy and Sharon Beatch all of whom have inspired and supported me to reach for my creative dreams.
I hope and wish you find inspiration, creativity, happiness, health and
joy in your life.
"Stop and smell the flowers"