CHILDREN from a Clacks primary brought Victorian scenes to life in collaboration with a hidden gem in the Wee County.

The young people from Muckhart PS teamed up with the Japanese Garden at Cowden to tell the story of the garden's founder, Ella Christie.

They led audiences through two tours at the garden with guides and a Victorian photographer all played by the children.

Along the way, those visiting on Wednesday and Thursday heard a Japanese fairy tale while meeting characters related to the life of Ella and that of the garden – all played by the young people.

A unique project, it was funded by the National Lottery, Hugh Fraser Foundation and the EDF Burnfoot Hill Community Fund.

Nicola Dibley, education and outreach officer at the Japanese Garden, told the Advertiser: “We've been absolutely delighted to work with Muckhart Primary on this project and the children's hard work shone through in their performances.

“We hope that it really has given them a fun and exciting experience and one that they will remember for years to come.”

The Japanese Garden was originally established in 1908 by Ella Christie of Cowden Castle and was created by Taki Handa, the first and only Japanese woman to be accredited with designing a garden of that nature.

The garden was later handed over to her great nephew Robert Stewart, but an act of vandalism in 1963 ripped it apart.

In recent years, however, the garden has ambitiously been restored by Robert's daughter Sara Stewart.

The performance by the Muckhart children received some encouraging feedback.

Nicola explained how one audience member said: “It was brilliant.

“I can't believe the children managed to learn so many lines, and the costumes were simply amazing.

“Now that I know all about the garden's history I'll definitely be back to enjoy its beautiful peace and tranquillity.”

Visit to learn more about the Japanese Garden.