How to Build a Water Fountain Using a Tall Glazed Pot
Tall glazed pots are nearly ready-made garden fountains. All it takes to transform an attractive pot into a water feature for curb or backyard appeal is a pump and a basin to hold water. Depending on the location of your fountain, you might plant it like a mini-pond, set it in the middle of a pond or hide the pond under a scattering of rocks and landscaping.
Choose a glazed pot that is tall enough to stand out in the landscaping or tall and wide enough to hold a few planted pond baskets.
Dig a hole to hold a pre-formed pond basin for your pondless fountain. Set a basin in the hole, using a carpenter’s level to adjust the basin to ensure it is flat. Place a small submersible pump in the basin.
Cover the hole and basin with a metal grid that will support the pot. Place a layer of hardware cloth over the grid to catch dirt and small pebbles that could clog the pump. Cut a hole in the hardware cloth for the water hose and another one at the side where the power cord from the pump will emerge.
Run the power cord and the flexible hose for water delivery through the holes in the metal grid and the hardware cloth. Hide the power cord with landscaping.
Set the pot on the grid, and thread the flexible water hose through the drain hole in the bottom of the pot. Seal the hole with silicone caulking, and let it dry. Drying time could be as long as 24 hours. Check manufacturer’s recommendations to be sure.
Fill the pot halfway to three-quarters with decorative stones, running the water hose up through the middle of the stones. Trim the hose at the surface of the stones. Add a bubbler fountain head to the hose or just leave it as it is.
Fill the hidden reservoir and the pot with water. Plug in the pump and turn it on. Adjust the water flow. Turn off the pump.
Cover the support grid with stones and landscaping plants to hide the buried reservoir. Turn on the fountain and watch the water spill over the edge of the pot and vanish into the rocks to be re-circulated by the hidden pump.
Follow instructions for making a pondless fountain, but place the pot on its side and tilt it slightly, resting it on the stones that cover the metal grid, so the opening faces up on a slant.
Fill the reservoir and the pot with water, and let the water sit for a day so the chlorine evaporates.
Set one or two pond baskets with aquatic plants in the pot, and place some floating lettuce plants or water hyacinths on the surface of the water in the pot.
Finish camouflaging the hidden pond basin, and turn the pump on to feed water gently through the hose so it spills over the tilted edge of the pot.
Pot in a Pond
Place a synthetic material or concrete pedestal in the center of a shallow concrete pond. Once the positioning looks right, mark the pedestal on a bottom edge for the power cord cable and dead center for the water delivery pipe. Remove the pedestal from the pond, and cut or drill a cable notch on the side and a pipe hole in the top of the pedestal.
Set a submersible pump with a copper water delivery pipe in the center of the pond. Replace the pedestal, positioning it over the pump and water pipe, and snake the power cable through the side notch and over the edge of the pond.
Place a glazed ceramic pot on the pedestal, fitting the drain hole over the copper pipe. Mark the pipe slightly below the rim of the pot and cut it there. Add a bubbler fountain head if you like or leave the pipe open. Seal the drain hole with the pipe in it by using a silicone sealer. Let the sealer dry.
Hide the power cable in shrubbery or landscaping, and plug in the pump. Fill the pot with water, and turn the pump on. The water will spout from the pipe and spill over the rim of the pot, falling back in to the pond.
- Thread the power cord for the pump through a length of PVC pipe, and bury the pipe in a shallow trench. This protects the pipe and makes it easier to camouflage.
Benna Crawford has been a journalist and New York-based writer since 1997. Her work has appeared in USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, and in professional journals and trade publications. Crawford has a degree in theater, is a certified Prana Yoga instructor, and writes about fitness, performing and decorative arts, culture, sports, business and education .
- Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images