What 6 Degrees Did to Malone’s

– Posted in: Succulents

Cuttings resized

I’m finding it difficult to do another cheery post about my area of expertise—succulents—after reading this a moment ago on Facebook, posted by a friend who owns a nursery in North Carolina: “With great sadness I have to let my friends know that last night put a real hurting on my succulent collection. With all 3 heaters running it was still not able to hold 32 or more. Lot of frozen plants. Six degrees was a little more than we could handle…I pray for all who had ordeals with the Arctic freeze.”

Can you imagine a loss like that? Plants that took  years to grow and collect destroyed while you looked on helplessly…plus your livelihood threatened? Then, a mess to clean that reeks of rotting vegetation? And no insurance because plants are simply too expensive to insure?

When another nursery-owning acquaintance—also in North Carolina—lost much of his collection (some of which he’d had since childhood) to fire earlier this year, sympathetic friends here in California who own or manage nurseries sent plants or donated them for me to package and send. Among them were Robin Stockwell of Succulent Gardens near San Francisco, and Carmen Contreras of Oasis Nursery near San Diego. I lined boxes with bubble wrap and filled gaps between the nursery plants with cuttings from my garden. The photo above shows one of three shipments.

If you’d like to encourage my grieving Facebook friend, please go to the Malone’s Nursery page and hit “Like.” If you want to help monetarily or perhaps by sending quality succulent cuttings, here’s the address: Kathy Malone, 11762 Cross Roads Place, Concord, NC 28025.



Debra Lee Baldwin
Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified, all Timber Press bestsellers. Her goal is to enhance others' enjoyment and awareness of waterwise plants and gardens by showcasing the beauty and design potential of succulents via books, articles, newsletters, photos, videos, social media and more. Debra and husband Jeff live in the foothills north of San Diego. She grew up in Southern California on an avocado ranch, speaks conversational Spanish, and at age 18 graduated magna cum laude from USIU with a degree in English Literature. Her hobbies include thrifting, birding and watercolor painting. Debra's YouTube channel has had over 3,000,000 views.
Debra Lee Baldwin
Debra Lee Baldwin
6 Comments… add one

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Laura Balaoro January 8, 2014, 7:38 pm

What a wonderful act of kindness Debra. Are they safe to mail these cuttings now? Or would it be better in early spring?

Georgie English January 8, 2014, 10:51 pm

I am so very sad to hear about your friend’s nursery. This weather is terrible.
I will go on FB later and look her up.
Good for you for helping her, such generosity …

Candy Suter January 9, 2014, 12:59 am

I would like to send something also. I don’t have much at this time since I got hit pretty bad too but I think they might like anything. I think I might wait a month or so though so it is not so cold. I love that you did this post! I will mention something on Sweetstuff’s also as I was about to do a post!


Katherine Tracey January 9, 2014, 7:46 am

Debra, Thank you for sharing this story. Unexpected freezes catch all of us northern nursery people at some point. We will have to send a sample pack once the weather breaks.
We had this happen once, our furnace failed, but was amazed to find a number of frozen plants which regenerated from the roots, Not all but some.

Arthur January 9, 2014, 8:22 am

Yes it was 9f Wednesday morning! I am afraid to look to see which marginals were lost!

Emma January 15, 2014, 3:15 am

Hi Debra, i’m sorry to hear about Malone’s nursery, we all know the feeling when we lose something after investing time and effort. i’ll go on your friend’s facebook page and like her page to encourage her not to give up.

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