"The Japanese Garden was created, in 1908, by my great aunt (‘Grandaunt’), Ella Christie. I remember spending most Sundays in the 30s with her and my sister, Grizel. We would walk from the castle up the long, burnside path, through the lime avenue to the garden and have tea in the Tea House in the first floor of the Boat House. The interior was furnished with symbolic wood carvings. From the balcony one looked out onto the ‘slopes of Fuji’ and the Ochil Hills in the distance.
"Queen Mary, a friend of Grandaunt’s, visited in 1937 and I remember showing her the collection of china, oriental objets d’art and photographs of Ella’s travels, by the 13th Century Tower. We visited the long gallery, where I held the light cable for her to see properly. I remember Ella giving The Queen a piece of china. We drove to the garden on the recently constructed ‘Coronation’ tarmac road; the garden was immaculate.
"When my sister and I visited as teenagers, before and during the war, Grand-aunt would explain all the meanings of the stones, the shrines and the lacquered lanterns. She explained how no one must meddle with the spring, which was the source for the water supply to the loch. She would sit in her revolving summerhouse, admire her creation and reminisce on her visits to Japan and the special trees in the garden. It was never boring and made a lasting impression on me. For her, who had travelled the world so often, this was her reward."