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Procrastinating and Pots

Northern California, CA

For several years I have been wanting to head down to San Leandro to the NorCal Pottery Outlet. I had heard some stories about the deals on pots, but had in the back of my mind equated some of these tall tales to some "embroidering." Today was the day that I finally got myself together, braved the traffic for the 40 mile drive and arrived promptly at 10AM when they opened. (I had called ahead to make sure they were indeed open, because I had heard just as many stories about gardeners arriving to find the gates locked.)

I'm rarely at a loss for words (big surprise, huh?!!) and I am a seasoned shopper. I am an excellent shopper in fact.

I was speechless. I was overwhelmed and overloaded with eye candy. I was reading the signs and having a hard time understanding them.

Quoting:
$65 Per Cart

What could that mean.......? I wandered around for a few more minutes and finally an employee came up to me and asked if I needed help. I do believe I must have looked like I was in trouble and experiencing some breathing problems.

The deal was that it was a SPECIAL SALE DAY!! Fill a flatbed cart as high as the top of the handle with whatever you can and it will be $65.

Does that mean one layer or can you stack them inside each other. "That works. Whatever you can fit on the cart and still push it yourself."

Flashbacks of the old TV program "Queen For A Day".........

Here's a shot of the front of the Outlet warehouse. The flatbed cart is what you could fill for $65.

Thumbnail by Happenstance
Northern California, CA

A few of the pots

Thumbnail by Happenstance
Northern California, CA

And a few more

Thumbnail by Happenstance
Northern California, CA

And there were more, actually I stopped taking pictures because I was afraid someone else would get the ones I wanted!! LOL

Thumbnail by Happenstance
Northern California, CA

For just $15 you could fill the cart with Mexican terra cotta pots. That's $15 with as much as you can push!

Thumbnail by Happenstance
Northern California, CA

I began to feel guilty as I practiced the fine art of stacking the cart......but it was more the fact of a Cherokee only holding so many pots. Here's part of my stash, having arrived home safely with nary a casualty!

Thumbnail by Happenstance
Northern California, CA

Wednesday-Friday
10:00am-4:00pm (I heard they have Saturday hours sometimes during the
summer - call for info)

Norcal Pottery Products, Inc.
2091 Williams St.
San Leandro, CA 94577
(510) 895-5966

Take the Marina Blvd. West exit off Hwy 880 in San Leandro
Right at the first stoplight onto Merced St.
Left at next stoplight onto Williams St.
Norcal Pottery is on the left side of the street

San Andreas, CA(Zone 9b)

What a fabulous place! I am new to the DG group and I am learning a lot already. Since I need pots, this looks like just the place for me. Thanks for the info and the pics!

L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

Oh, man! I am sooo jealous! I live way too far away.

Modesto, CA(Zone 8b)

Oh my goodness.....when do they have these sales? Are they un-advertised? One would sure think so! I really wish you hadn't posted that.....

K

San Jose, CA(Zone 9a)

Candy...I will have to send you my phone no.!!! I would have loved to have gone to the super sale! I know Sue has been there before and probably would have loved to have known about this sale for sure. Will it be on again tomorrow, do you know?
Margie

Northern California, CA

I didn't even know it was a sale day......I did talk to a gal there who apparently goes often. She said they do this every so often, but I didn't get as far as to ask whether they advertise or not. I really was in a daze.

A couple of tips:

Do go with someone or a couple of friends (I'd take more than one car though....people take up valuable pot space!)
With a couple of people, you could split the $65 and still end up with probably 30 pots each. If I had gotten all medium to small ones.......I would think 100 pots would not have been far off the mark.

It would help to have two sets of hands to help with the stacking of the pots on the cart. I actually could have fit quite a few more on the cart, but it was hard to judge how much would fit in the Cherokee. I had the back seats down and it was full with 6 very large pots and a couple large ones between those. Then I put all the little ones inside those six big ones. It was a job unloading the cart, taking the stacks apart, getting the huge ones in the car and then maneuvering the others inside the big ones. Those things are HEAVY!

I would take a pair of gloves next time.

Another important thing: They do not take credit cards. CASH or CHECKS only.

I would call them tomorrow Margie......I called around 9AM today to make sure they would be open.

Can you imagine a whole cart of those Mexican terra cotta pots for $15 ! I got only glazed ones today because with our wind I have had so many of the tc ones blow over and break. But think about it........even if they ALL broke I'd only be out $15. I may have to go back. :-)

I've easily spent $50 at retailers for some of these very same pots. All the ones I chose were without major flaws or chips. They may have had some glaze imperfections or had a rough bottom ridge, some had lost their saucers......I just picked through all the pallets until I found ones I liked.

Richard at The Dry Garden asked me when I stopped there on the way home, if I had enough plants to put in them all............silly man.

San Jose, CA

Wow, Candy, you go girl! I will have to add this to my list of must-see places. I can just imagine the glee of finding all these huge pots and then filling them up with new plants.

Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

Boy they really are stocked well! I have been 3 X now and each time there is something different, sale wise and pot wise. Last sale I got was $15 for all on cart, glazed included.
And it is a big workout loading and unloading, plus I was a dusty mess when I got home. Here is my $15 haul last fall, look at the different styles.

This message was edited Mar 31, 2005 11:44 PM

This message was edited Mar 31, 2005 11:45 PM

Thumbnail by Calif_Sue
Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

And here was another pot from another visit, a big rich green glazed one for $10.

Thumbnail by Calif_Sue
Clovis, CA(Zone 9a)

A few years back I lived in Stockton and a friend told me about NorCal. . .so I made regular sojourns to San Leandro for NorCal and Nordstrom Rack (among the other outlet stores in that same stop). Needless to say, I hardly ever bought a pot anywhere else, unless it was practically 'free'. THEN. . .I moved to San Leandro. . . BIG MISTAKE. I lived about 4 blocks from NorCal. All my friends received pots, my family received pots and my collection grew. . . .Now that I'm in San Joaquin Valley, find it a little more difficult to get up there, but sounds like their deals are better than ever. The staff there is most helpful and most times the selection is huge!

Mesilla Park, NM

That does it.... I'm taking a trip up there soon.. You guys, they are beautiful.. I love those pots.. How far am i from that place?

Northern California, CA

It's a very long way.....I think it would take some higher math to calculate the cost of gas vs the savings on the pots.

Here's the way I look at it........I had to run to the local nursery yesterday to get some potting soil and pumice. So I walked around and looked at all the pots that matched the ones I bought on the cart. I figure I got close to $600 worth of pots for the $65!

So I bought a few more plants, since I "saved" so much money! Perfectly logical reasoning in my perfectly illogical mind.

Northern California, CA

I've already used a lot of the pots I got at NorCal, but thought you might like to see some examples of the types of pots I chose to fill my cart with.

Just to give you some size reference:
The pot in the first row left is 19" tall, right is 14" tall.
Second row is various sizes of smaller pots.
Third row left is 18" tall and right is 20" tall.

Third row left you can see the type of flaws that make these "seconds".....the glaze is smudged at the front rim. I can work with that! I figured out that on average each pot cost under $2.00

Thumbnail by Happenstance
Ventura, United States(Zone 10b)

Wow, Candy, you scored! You did too, Calif_Sue. I am so jealous. I have spent a virtual fortune on pots. I think I paid $80 for a blue one like Calif_Sue's large green glazed one. I had no idea that those beautiful glazed pots could be so inexpensive. Nurseries and Home Depot here charge a small fortune for them. You did good, girl! I wish I was closer. San Leandro is about six or seven hours away:-( I've resigned myself to using black plastic nursery pots because they are the cheapest.

This message was edited Apr 2, 2005 2:34 PM

Modesto, CA(Zone 8b)

Gourd, San Leandro is about half way between Fremont and Oakland. Quite a drive for you. You need a friend in the Bay Area.....you know, someone to visit when NorCal has sales! LOL

K

http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?searchtype=address&country=US&addtohistory=&searchtab=home&address=&city=San+Leandro&state=CA&zipcode=

Mesilla Park, NM

Well, the way I see it, we desperately need a vacation... I've never been up that way.. and after explaining to hubby just HOW much we can SAVE..lol. All the while, still on vacation...yadadadada...

He said YES... when he saw Candy's and Calif_Sue's stash (or is it stashes)?

Okay, when is the next sale date...Oh, I think Candy listed the phone number up there..

I just love these bargains. Boy, I wish they had something like that around here.


Edited to say: Hopefully he will remember what he said and when vacation time rolls around...lol..

This message was edited Apr 2, 2005 7:37 PM

This message was edited Apr 2, 2005 9:36 PM

San Leandro, CA

I live about 4 blocks from the NorCal. It is a great place and I have been buying their pots for the last ten years or more. Besides pots, sometimes they will have fountains or other garden items. However, be sure to check for those of you that are making a long trip as sometimes their stock is better than others. If you are just looking for smaller pots or terra cotta they always have alot. If you want very large glazed ones call ahead. I got some great large glazed pots for 30.00. I priced them elsewhere and they run over $100.00. I'll check with them to see when they have their next sale. However, I was there just last week and they had some pallets of pots on sale. If you are also in the Bay Area try out Annie Annuals in Richmond. It is 2 1/2 acres and she really has some unusual stuff. I only have been there once but will be going back shortly. Also, while your in San Leandro Nordstroms Rack and Talbots are just a few blocks from NorCal.

Grace

Northern California, CA

I've almost worked my way through all the pots.....could it be time for a return trip? I wonder if the sale is still going on? Inquiring minds need to know!

I thought you might like to see how nice a Pony Tail Palm looks in the 20" pot shown in the image above.

Thumbnail by Happenstance
Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

Yep, sale still on! My Mom and I made the trip today. We opted for the Mexican ones today, $15 per cart, which we split. Look what $7.50 worth of pots look like, 22 total. Figured we can always head back for more glazed ones later as they always have them.

Thumbnail by Calif_Sue
Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

Actually Candy, the selection was lower on the pallets than when you went, not as many big ones, but they are constantly restocking them.
This handled one had both handles intact, I got one last year exactly like it with one handle broken off, nothing that can't be covered by a trailing plant. On this one, you can see just a bit of the clay broken off on the left handle. So you face it the other way and good as new!

Thumbnail by Calif_Sue
Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

With the savings, we just had to go to Annie's Annuals and treat ourselves, after all, need to fill those pots somehow!
In the foreground are a couple of agropyron magellenium, 'Blue Wheat Grass', Annie was there and she highly recommended it. That, along with the coppery New Zealand Wind Grass should look pretty good in these pots.

This message was edited Apr 6, 2005 7:55 PM

Thumbnail by Calif_Sue
Ventura, United States(Zone 10b)

I am just amazed and astounded at what you guys are getting at those prices. I've paid over $100 for pots like those and got a lot less. Now I feel really bad that I've paid so much for pots. Does anyone know if they have an outlet such as this in Southern California? Thanks!

Mesilla Park, NM

You guys are making me cry here..lol..

Northern California, CA

Looks like it's gonna rain again tonight and tomorrow.......so if I can't garden, guess where I'll be?!

I'm down to my last 3 small pots and still have plants to pot up or repot.

Clare & Gourd I sure wish you guys could come and join in on the fun!

Ventura, United States(Zone 10b)

I'm so jealous but happy for you guys!

Modesto, CA(Zone 8b)

Let me know if the sale is still on will you? I'm headed to visit Ma & Pa in the Bay Area this weekend.....Campbell......and guess what I can drive right by!

K

San Jose, CA(Zone 9b)

Wow, Candy and Ca_Sue! What a steal! This place is between San Jose and Alameda where my parents live. I will have to plan a trip for sure. I am amazed a the deals you got. I can hardly wait!

Chico, CA

I am in AWE of this pot place...Must go sooooon!!!! Thanks for the post and info...

Northern California, CA

I never did get there....decided not to hit the freeway in the monsoon. I did go to a great plant sale this morning and I have used all the pots I got, so I'll make another trip down there soon!

Modesto, CA(Zone 8b)

I checked for a website for them and couldn't find one. I was hoping to get the inside skinny on their sales or something. Poop!
K

San Leandro, CA(Zone 9a)

I live in San Leandro and have not been to NorCal for some time, mainly because we were remodeling and I had much of my garden in the ground. I also recall NorCal selling mainly terracotta pots and am surprised to see all these photos of glazed pots. I have a couple days off this week and a neighbor and I are visiting all the nurseries on Thursday that we never get time to visit. Friday I'm going to NorCal for any pots I need! THANKS for the reminder about this great outlet!

Bradbury, CA(Zone 9b)

Wow, such a deal you were able to get! I am in southern California and have not heard of anything like that down my way. I agree with Gourd, you are making me jealous. I will have to explore this and see if there is anything like it here in our area.

Thank you for shaing the information.

Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

Planted on of my big ones with a varigated ginger and placed it next to my small pond.

Thumbnail by Calif_Sue
San Jose, CA(Zone 9a)

Looks great Sue!

How do you keep all your containers watered? By hand?

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