Book review: Recycling in the garden by Angela Youngman

I am quite a fan of recycling in the garden, finding ways of reusing things which will enhance my garden, reduce waste and be sustainable.  When I was asked if I wanted to review this new book 'Recycling in the garden using everyday things' by Angela Youngman, it felt right up my street.

I have not paid for this book and I have not been paid to write this review.  My words and opinions are my own.

I was nicely surprised when I read the book, in that Angela is talking about recycling in the broad sense of the concept.  The books starts with a discussion of gardening sustainability and that we should have more sustainable gardening habits/methods.  Angela goes on to talk about natural recycling which I admit, some of what is listed such as not collecting up fallen leaves in autumn to create a natural mulch, is something that I do but would not have thought of it as recycling.  Of course it is, it is reusing and repurposing but not what my mind immediately leaps to.

There is then a section about 'Learning from the Past' which talks of compost toilets and how human and animal manure has been used for centuries amongst other things.   This is a really good section as we have generally become more and more wasteful and we have much to learn from how people in the past had to reuse and recycle.  It was not a choice, it was a necessity and one that climate crisis and our cost of living crisis is refocusing us now (hopefully).

We are moved into a section on water/rain recycling and energy recycling and by this point I am thoroughly engrossed in all that this deceptively smallish book has to say.  This is not a weighty tome but a concise and well written guide.

Angela talks through how we can recycle/reuse items that we may already have in the garden in innovative and often beautiful ways.  Some of which are well known: such as reusing railway sleepers (safely).  There is a very interesting discussion about the use of recycled plastic in the garden.  Angela explains that it uses less energy and depending on what it is used for, it will be cheap and long lasting to use with little maintenance.  Of course one of the criticisms of plastic is that it does not rot/biodegrade and I certainly have some plastic plant pots that I must have had for nearly 30 years.  I just keep reusing them and cannot remember when I last bought any plant pots it is so many years ago, so to see this reuse of plastic was very good. As I watch my two sheds decay and deteriorate I start to think that maybe a recycled plastic shed could be a way forward.

I enjoyed this book, I enjoyed how it is written and how thoughtful it is.  I enjoyed and learned from the ideas and the encouragement Angela brings to it.  I think it would make an excellent gift for the gardener in your life (or yourself) who is keen to know more about recycling and gardening sustainably.

Recycling in the garden by Angela Youngman is published by Pen and Sword Books

Take care and be kind.

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