For the last 10 years, local gardening enthusiast Trevor Robinson has won the Irvinestown in Bloom competition for his colourful “cottage-style” garden.

Explaining that his garden won the small garden category of the competition this year, as well as taking the prize for best garden overall, Trevor commented: “I feel honoured that I’ve won it but I do put a lot of hard work into it and I do it because my wife has got ill health.”

He added: “I do it to cheer her up.”

When asked what he has to do to prepare his garden for the competition, Trevor said: “From say the end of March I start preparing and I would be out to 10pm, five days a week then taking up maybe a few hours on a Sunday. It’s a big commitment.”

He continued: “I do all the planting and hanging baskets myself out at the back, I get a great sense of achievement just doing it myself.”

Describing the garden as quite small at the front with a “wee bit” at the back, Trevor added: “We kind of go for a cottage garden theme which basically means you can plant anything and if there’s colour, it works.”

Listing the types of plants and flowers that he grows in his garden, Trevor shared: “I have some perennials, some roses and then to add a splash of colour for summer we have all annual plants, busy lizzies, dahlias, poppies, begonias, fuchsias.”

“I could keep going on,” he laughed.

Trevor commented that busy lizzies are his favourite flower because “they give you such a bright, vibrant colour for the summer.”

Along with an abundance of colourful flowers, Trevor also has two water features and a summer house in his garden.

“If it’s raining you can go out and just sit and chill out and read a book and listen to the water features,” he added.

Trevor explained that his keen interest in gardening has stemmed from his parents.

“Both my parents were gardeners and that’s who I have inherited my green fingers from, my mum and my dad. My dad passed away 27 years ago but my mum still gardens at the age of 82.”

He added: “She has given me a lot of helpful tips and hints.”

Due to adverse weather conditions, Trevor noted that gardening has been particularly “tricky” this year. He said: “It has been tricky this year compared to last year, a lot trickier.”

He continued: “It has been wet and the cold evenings, from say May and June. The evenings weren’t really that warm so it was a bit trickier to get the plants to come on and grow.”

The annual competition is organised by the Irvinestown Fairs and Markets Trustees in conjunction with the Lady of the Lake festival and is sponsored by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council. This year’s judge was Kenny Crawford from Glenwood Nursery.

“If I can cheer people up by them looking at the nice garden, that just makes it all the more rewarding for me,” concluded Trevor.