Making FOUNTAINS out of glazed pots; keeping them clean
SEALING/WATERPROOFING THE POT:
We have converted three large chinese red glazed and blue glazed earthenware pots- to fountains. we have plugged up their bottom drainage holes by putting black duct tape underneath the hole, and then from the inside of the pot, filling the hole with 'Bondo'. after the Bondo has dried, we apply a thin opaque coat of roofing tar to the entire inside of the pot, up to the glaze. once that has dried thoroughly, the pot is ready to put in place,fill with water , and insert a pump, which we put on bricks.over the pump's water 'nozzle', we then put a piece of tight-fitting black pvc pipe , cut long enough to make a nice fountain but not too high or low. (this height issue and the water fountain 'look' that you want are what takes all the tweaking.)you may also want to play with various pump sizes.
even though electricians don't recommend this, we then plug in the pump to an electrical outlet using outdoor green electrical wire- like you use for outdoor xmas tree light.we don't bother to bury the wire(unless it crosses a path); we put mulch/shredded leaves over it to hide it as needed, and we do not take it up for the winter. the one drawback to this system, where we plug up the hole, is that you can see the electrical wire that hangs outside the pot, but that can sometimes be camouflaged. we use sealed pots for fountains but also for growing waterplants (cannas, elephant ears, water iris, waterlilies).
we bring in our pots onto a screened porch but in z.5 they can be turned over and left outside if they are raised up off the ground.
the ugly white milky lime deposits we eventually get on the outsides of the pots-i clean in the fall or spring.we tried Lime-Away but it didn't work well. Instead i devised this system: I use XXXX grade-the finest- steel wool dipped in BOILING vinegar(i plug in an electrical fondue pot next to the pots i'm cleaning to keep the vinegar boiling!!)I go over the outside glaze once-gently but firmly, keeping my st.wool very wet w/ the boiling vinegar. then i let the pot dry. if it still has lime, i go over it again and let it dry. then
i coat the pot with a thin coat or 2- of butchers wax, buffed with towelling.
the pots are placed on columns/pedestals in the gardens.
i personally feel every garden needs some form of water. what a difference it makes.our gardens are on a busy main street so we have fountains and waterfalls spread throughout the garden. the sound is soothing and inviting and helps mask the street noise. i hope some of you find this info useful!