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15 Ways to Brighten Up Your Garden on a Budget

15 Ways to Brighten Up Your Garden on a Budget

Is your garden lacking color, depth, and excitement? If you are looking to transform your backyard into a personalized space that will impress on a budget, try one or many of these simple projects.

1. Pallet Herb Garden

Pallets can be found all over and are literally thrown away by businesses everyday. A great way to recycle old pallets is to attach terra cotta pots to them and make them into a rustic pallet herb garden. Be sure to research whether the type of herbs you want to grow require a lot of sun or prefer shade and plan accordingly. Creativity is your best friend, design your pallet garden any way you see fit.

Herb Garden in a pallet

    2. Bird Bath/Garden Planter

    Take the simplicity of painted terra cotta pots, add all the excitement of a bird bath, and what you’re left with is a beautiful bird bath planter.  If you want your feathered friends to return to your garden time and time again make sure you are regularly cleaning the bird bath.

    Tutorial: http://www.homestoriesatoz.com/outdoor/diy-garden-planter-birds-bath.html

    Clay pots stacked with birdbath

      3. DIY Pallet Bench Garden Project

      Scrap lumber is more useful than you think. Use either 2x4s or deconstructed pallets to make this simple yet wonderfully colorful bench. Simplicity rules, and anyone who walks by won’t help but notice your artsy homemade garden bench.

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      Garden Bench Multi-Colored

        4. Flowerpot Wind Chime

        If wind chimes are you style, you can avoid buying a new one and make your own. Follow these simple instructions to make an amazing flowerpot wind chime.

        Tutorial: http://houseofjoyfulnoise.com/terracotta-flower-pot-wind-chime-tutorial/

        Wind Chime

          5. Chandelier Planter

          What’s that old clunky looking chandelier in your garage up to? Short answer: nothing! So why not turn it into a gorgeous chandelier planter? Use clay pots in place of the light fixtures and be sure to attach the pots with a strong adhesive. These planters will look great anywhere including your garden, porch, or even inside your home if you so desire.

          Tutorial: http://diyshowoff.com/2013/06/11/chandelier-planter-tutorial-2/2/

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          Chandelier

            6. Hummingbird Feeder

            Hummingbirds are one of the most fascinating species of birds. They are colorful, animated creatures that are as exciting to watch as they are beautiful. I’ve owned many of these feeders and by far the best design and most naturally appealing to hummingbirds seems to be the hummerbar style feeder. This design uses a large tube with plastic flowers as access points to hummingbirds favorite food: nectar! The hummerbar style hummingbird feeders start at about $20, so whether you decide to buy one or make your own, it won’t break the bank.

            Hummingbird hummerbar feeder

              7. Recycled Chair Garden Planter

              My next door neighbor once saw me throwing out a wooden chair that had the bottom broken out of it. He gave me this same idea and my homemade chair planter quickly became my favorite things on my front porch.

              Pot Chair

                8. Clay Pot Rain Chain

                With summer on the brain, rain is probably the last thing on your mind. Attaching small clay pots to your rain chains makes them stand out as unique and creative.

                rainpots

                  9. Recycled Wood Pallet Garden Path

                  Yet another use for wood pallets is to take them apart and use the lumber to create a path. Consider staining the boards first, or even using this idea to create a small bridge for your garden or back yard.

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                  Recycled Wooden Path

                    10. Clay Pot Lighthouses

                    This idea for your garden is simple enough, but it may require some artistic abilities. Glue terra cotta pots together and once they dry paint them like a lighthouse. Whether you live on coast or anywhere else this project brings a little bit of ocean air to your garden.

                    Tutorial: http://www.ehow.com/how_4882573_make-clay-pot-lighthouse.html

                    Clay Pot Lighthouse

                      11. Seashell Encrusted Clay Pot

                      Following suit with the light house clay pots, these seashell clay pots are awesome. Simply choose a clay pot, gather or buy some interesting sea shells, and attach them with a high power adhesive. Try planting succulents or tropical plants in these customized clay pots.

                      Seashell Pot

                        12. Stump Planters

                        Stumps or old abandoned logs are everywhere. As long as they aren’t rotten they will make great planters. Try filing them with summery flowers or even aromatic herbs!

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                        Tutorial: http://www.listotic.com/creative-garden-container-ideas/9/

                        Stump Planters

                          13. Decorative Mushrooms Made With Terra Cotta Pots

                          Bordering the line of folk-art, mushroom themed clay pots are frankly the most fun portion of this list. Try using bright colored paint combinations and use the pots as the mushroom stem, drain trays as the mushroom caps. Garden gnomes unite!

                          Clay Pot Mushrooms

                            14. Succulent Wreath

                            Succulents are one of the easiest types of plants to take care of. Start by creating a ring of moss (Spanish moss is my favorite), and add in succulents. Although traditional wreaths are only for the holidays, these succulent wreaths are pretty timeless.

                            succulentwreath

                              15. Clay Pot Planter Wall

                              Construct a basic wooden frame and use either chicken wire or large screen material as the backing. Attach some clay pots and go wild! Use as many as you think are suitable and fill them with the bright plants of your choice.

                              Pot Wall

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                                Robert Parmer

                                Freelance Writer

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                                Published on November 8, 2018

                                How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

                                How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

                                After a few months of hard work and dozens of phone calls later, you finally land a job opportunity.

                                But then, you’re asked about your salary requirements and your mind goes blank. So, you offer a lower salary believing this will increase your odds at getting hired.

                                Unfortunately, this is the wrong approach.

                                Your salary requirements can make or break your odds at getting hired. But only if you’re not prepared.

                                Ask for a salary too high with no room for negotiation and your potential employer will not be able to afford you. Aim too low and employers will perceive as you offering low value. The trick is to aim as high as possible while keeping both parties feel happy.

                                Of course, you can’t command a high price without bringing value.

                                The good news is that learning how to be a high-value employee is possible. You have to work on the right tasks to grow in the right areas. Here are a few tactics to negotiate your salary requirements with confidence.

                                1. Hack time to accomplish more than most

                                Do you want to get paid well for your hard work? Of course you do. I hate to break it to you, but so do most people.

                                With so much competition, this won’t be an easy task to achieve. That’s why you need to become a pro at time management.

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                                Do you know how much free time you have? Not the free time during your lunch break or after you’ve finished working at your day job. Rather, the free time when you’re looking at your phone or watching your favorite TV show.

                                Data from 2017 shows that Americans spend roughly 3 hours watching TV. This is time poorly spent if you’re not happy with your current lifestyle. Instead, focus on working on your goals whenever you have free time.

                                For example, if your commute to/from work is 1 hour, listen to an educational Podcast. If your lunch break is 30 minutes, read for 10 to 15 minutes. And if you have a busy life with only 30–60 minutes to spare after work, use this time to work on your personal goals.

                                Create a morning routine that will set you up for success every day. Start waking up 1 to 2 hours earlier to have more time to work on your most important tasks. Use tools like ATracker to break down which activities you’re spending the most time in.

                                It won’t be easy to analyze your entire day, so set boundaries. For example, if you have 4 hours of free time each day, spend at least 2 of these hours working on important tasks.

                                2. Set your own boundaries

                                Having a successful career isn’t always about the money. According to Gallup, about 70% of employees aren’t satisfied with their current jobs.[1]

                                Earning more money isn’t a bad thing, but choosing a higher salary over the traits that are the most important to you is. For example, if you enjoy spending time with your family, reject job offers requiring a lot of travel.

                                Here are some important traits to consider:

                                • Work and life balance – The last thing you’d want is a job that forces you to work 60+ hours each week. Unless this is the type of environment you’d want. Understand how your potential employer emphasizes work/life balance.
                                • Self-development opportunities – Having the option to grow within your company is important. Once you learn how to do your tasks well, you’ll start becoming less engaged. Choose a company that encourages employee growth.
                                • Company culture – The stereotypical cubicle job where one feels miserable doesn’t have to be your fate. Not all companies are equal in culture. Take, for example, Google, who invests heavily in keeping their employees happy.[2]

                                These are some of the most important traits to look for in a company, but there are others. Make it your mission to rank which traits are important to you. This way you’ll stop applying to the wrong companies and stay focused on what matters to you more.

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                                3. Continuously invest in yourself

                                Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. Cliche I know, but true nonetheless.

                                You’ll grow as a person and gain confidence with the value you’ll be able to bring to others. Investing in yourself doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, you can read books to expand your knowledge in different fields.

                                Don’t get stuck into the habit of reading without a purpose. Instead, choose books that will help you expand in a field you’re looking to grow. At the same time, don’t limit yourself to reading books in one subject–create a healthy balance.

                                Podcasts are also a great medium to learn new subjects from experts in different fields. The best part is they’re free and you can consume them on your commute to/from work.

                                Paid education makes sense if you have little to no debt. If you decide to go back to school, be sure to apply for scholarships and grants to have the least amount of debt. Regardless of which route you take to make it a habit to grow every day.

                                It won’t be easy, but this will work to your advantage. Most people won’t spend most of their free time investing in themselves. This will allow you to grow faster than most, and stand out from your competition.

                                4. Document the value you bring

                                Resumes are a common way companies filter employees through the hiring process. Here’s the big secret: It’s not the only way you can showcase your skills.

                                To request for a higher salary than most, you have to do what most are unwilling to do. Since you’re already investing in yourself, make it a habit to showcase your skills online.

                                A great way to do this is to create your own website. Pick your first and last name as your domain name. If this domain is already taken, get creative and choose one that makes sense.

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                                Here are some ideas:

                                • joesmith.com
                                • joeasmith.com
                                • joesmithprojects.com

                                Nowadays, building a website is easy. Once you have your website setup, begin producing content. For example, if you a developer you can post the applications you’re building.

                                During your interviews, you’ll have an online reference to showcase your accomplishments. You can use your accomplishments to justify your salary requirements. Since most people don’t do this, you’ll have a higher chance of employers accepting your offer

                                5. Hide your salary requirements

                                Avoid giving you salary requirements early in the interview process.

                                But if you get asked early, deflect this question in a non-defensive manner. Explain to the employer that you’d like to understand your role better first. They’ll most likely agree with you; but if they don’t, give them a range.

                                The truth is great employers are more concerned about your skills and the value you bring to the company. They understand that a great employee is an investment, able to earn them more than their salary.

                                Remember that a job interview isn’t only for the employer, it’s also for you. If the employer is more interested in your salary requirements, this may not be a good sign. Use this question to gauge if the company you’re interviewing is worth working for.

                                6. Do just enough research

                                Research average salary compensation in your industry, then wing it.

                                Use tools like Glassdoor to research the average salary compensation for your industry. Then leverage LinkedIn’s company data that’s provided with its Pro membership. You can view a company’s employee growth and the total number of job openings.

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                                Use this information to make informed decisions when deciding on your salary requirements. But don’t limit yourself to the average salary range. Companies will usually pay you more for the value you have.

                                Big companies will often pay more than smaller ones.[3] Whatever your desired salary amount is, always ask for a higher amount. Employers will often reject your initial offer. In fact, offer a salary range that’ll give you and your employer enough room to negotiate.

                                7. Get compensated by your value

                                Asking for the salary you deserve is an art. On one end, you have to constantly invest in yourself to offer massive value. But this isn’t enough. You also have to become a great negotiator.

                                Imagine requesting a high salary and because you bring a lot of value, employers are willing to pay you this. Wouldn’t this be amazing?

                                Most settle for average because they’re not confident with what they have to offer. Most don’t invest in themselves because they’re not dedicated enough. But not you.

                                You know you deserve to get paid well, and you’re willing to put in the work. Yet, you won’t sacrifice your most important values over a higher salary.

                                The bottom line

                                You’ve got what it takes to succeed in your career. Invest in yourself, learn how to negotiate, and do research. The next time you’re asked about your salary requirements, you won’t fumble.

                                You’ll showcase your skills with confidence and get the salary you deserve. What’s holding you back now?

                                Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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