Meet the Gardener: Immy @immycoughlan
Meet Immy, (& Tarka, her gorgeous new puppy). It's so brilliant to hear more young adults making their own slice of the country into a haven for wildlife. I love Immy's story as it shows how planting just one or two things can make a difference- something I'm also so passionate about! I also was inspired by my grandparents garden, like Immy, I think it is such a common theme with where people take an interest.
Hi Lizzie, I’m Immy, I’m 26, originally from Yorkshire and now living and working in the Cotswolds.
Tell us a bit about you and when did you started gardening, and why?
After university, my job took me to the Cotswolds. Living independently and renting a small house with a small garden, it was the first time I felt I ‘owned’ a small corner of the world. It was only until I was furloughed in March 2020 that I had the time to start gardening. It got me outside, it gave me focus and it made me happy. One of the first things I planted was a ‘Bee Bomb’, I love to save the bees, I have lots of happy childhood memories of butterflies and bumble bees flying around my granny’s garden. A few months later, in September 2020, I saw some bumblebees collecting pollen on the wildflowers in the ‘Bee Bomb’. To know that my small corner of the world, had helped a little bumblebee, was a really special moment for me and one I wish to recreate again and again.
Which gardeners inspire you and why?
My grandparents. Granny has worked endlessly in her garden, and at the age of 90, she isn’t stopping soon! Granny (and chief lawnmower, Grandpa), used to open their garden to the members of the National Garden Scheme in Yorkshire. I still remember the coaches parking in the yard, the hordes of people arriving, and the delicious cake slowly getting eaten throughout the day!
My second favourite gardener is Monty Don. His vast knowledge is awe inspiring and I love how he keeps things as natural as they can be in his garden.
- What’s the most ambitious gardening project you’ve completed or have planned?
I have recently moved into my boyfriend’s new house. The garden hasn’t been touched in about 3 years, so we have a lot of work to do. The sweet peas have already been sown, and I’m looking forward to growing along with Lizzie as the months go by. I’m really excited to grow my own veg, I had a go last year with cucumber and salad – it was so rewarding and tasted delicious!
(Tarka, our 15 week puppy was quickly made Head Gardener!)
- What is your favourite thing to grow?
That’s a tough one, especially as I’m a newbie when it comes to gardening! I liked growing cornflowers and sweet peas last year. I enjoyed growing vegetables too, I hate the huge amount of plastic packaging at supermarkets, it’s a big motivation to be more self-sufficient.
- Anything new you want to try in the next growing season?
Again, I’m new to gardening but I’ve been using your Seed Advent Calendar as inspiration. I planted Iris, Daffodil and Tulip bulbs for the first time in November, I can’t wait to see a pop of colour in Spring.
- Where is your favourite garden in the world, and why?
My Grandparents, for all the childhood memories. I’m really looking forward to exploring some Cotswolds gardens this summer too!
- What do you wish you’d known earlier about gardening?
Have patience and start early! I’m not a patient person, I look at my newly sown seeds about 4 times a day to see if there’s any growth! I started my passion for gardening too late last year, so I’m being organised and getting ahead this year.
- What advice would you give someone new to gardening?
Grow what you love, whether that’s flowers, shrubs or food. Be patient, be organised and most importantly, have fun with it!
- When not gardening, what do you like doing?
I’m a real foodie and love to try new restaurants and pubs. I take part in all country sports and I’m enjoying cooking new recipes with game and fish. Oh, and tasting new gins!