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A Blossoming Legacy: Lee Hulsey's lifelong journey with Roseland Nursery

Lee Hulsey will be 90 years old on Aug. 30 this year. She boasts of being in the nursery business for over 50 years beginning in 1970. She is a living testament to the adage that age is just a number. As sharp as a tack, she continues to inspire those around her with her entrepreneurial spirit and deep-seated love for family and community.

Lee is the proud owner of Roseland Nursery, a thriving business that is celebrating its 40th year of operation. The nursery, nestled in a picturesque part of Fallbrook, is not just a business but a cherished family legacy.

Lee's journey to Fallbrook began many years ago in Louisiana, where she and her late husband, Joe, originally hailed from. She was born during the depression as one of six children.

She marvels at her memory of how her mother raised them all, mostly by herself, as her father was away much of the time. She said they were poor, but one thing she remembers is "I was always in the nursery business. I loved planting something in the ground and seeing it grow."

Her and Joe's story was one of love, resilience, challenges, and an unyielding passion for entrepreneurship. They met at an officer's dance in 1952, and soon after, they were married.

Their early ventures included a bar and a membership club in Louisiana, before they made a significant move to Las Vegas with $800 in their pockets!

It was in the bustling city of lights that they founded Sunset Gardens, a nursery that became a beloved fixture in the community.

Joe and Lee were married 67 years before Joe passed away on May 24, 2020 on his birthday.

They have four sons, Michael Joe, Tony Ray, Joe Jr. and Kelly Kirkland. Seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The nursery has always been a family business, Lee explains. "When God calls my number, I will pass the torch to the family."

Roseland is known for beautiful palm trees and beautiful oaks. Manager Florencio says, "If we don't have it, we will get it for you."

In 1984, while Lee was still immersed in the Vegas nurseries, her son Michael decided to embark on a new venture in Fallbrook. He founded Roseland Nursery, a move that would eventually draw Lee and Joe to the serene beauty of Fallbrook full-time in 2000.

The nursery has since grown into a vibrant and diverse wholesale operation, open to the public in Rainbow. Visitors can find an extensive selection of flowers, vegetables, succulents, palms, tropicals, shrubs, ornamental plants, fruit trees, pottery and fountains, and shade trees, making it a go-to destination for plant enthusiasts.

Lee's pride in Roseland Nursery extends beyond its horticultural offerings. She says it's the people that make the nursery truly special. The Hulsey family has cultivated not just plants, but a community.

Employees at Roseland are considered part of the family; many having worked there for decades. Florencio, the manager, is a prime example. He is a second-generation employee, following in his father's footsteps.

The Hulseys have also provided housing for their employees, a gesture that speaks volumes about their commitment to their team. "We have provided people with jobs and housing," Lee says, adding that this is how she believes God would want her to treat those around her.

Today, while Lee enjoys a well-deserved retirement in her beautiful home overlooking 34 acres of Roseland Nurseries property, her son Michael primarily runs the business.

She is loving her life in her home which offers a stunning 360-degree view of Roseland growing land and the hills of Fallbrook, a daily reminder of the beauty and tranquility that drew her to the area.

Beyond her work in the nursery, Lee has authored several heartwarming books, including "Lee's Corner Lee-isms: Life's Golden Nuggets," "Nana Lee's Poems to Entertain and Inspire You," and "Lee's Corner Vol. II: Lee-isms: Life's Golden Nuggets."

And she's not stopping there; she's currently working on another book and a cookbook, continuing to share her wisdom and creativity with not only her family, but the world. All her books are available on Amazon.

Lee Hulsey's life is a rich tapestry of family, community, and a love for the land. As she celebrates 40 years of Roseland Nursery, she looks back with pride and forward with hope, knowing that her legacy will continue to bloom for generations to come.


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