The French baroque garden covers 10 hectares and fully retains its original layout designed by Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1735/1736. It is the most important historical garden in the Baltics. The garden was created at the same time as the palace was constructed between 1736 and 1740. After the Duke’s return from exile, work in the garden continued.
The renovation plan for the park was prepared by the Institute “Giproteatr” in Leningrad between 1975 and 1977. The cutting of the overgrown trees commenced in 1976. The first foot-path was made in 1978, while the first lime tree was planted in the alley in 1984.
The ornamental parterre, which is a focal element in the baroque garden design, was created between 2002 and 2005. The pools and fountain designed by Rastrelli, were completed in 2008.
In 2004, with the performance of the opera Rinaldo by George Friedrich Handel, the Green Theatre was opened to the public, but it was entirely completed only in 2016.
The rose garden is located in the front part of the French garden on both sides of the ornamental parterre, and covers about one hectare of land. The Rose garden project was started in 2005. The area closest to the parterre is planted with English roses that resemble old garden roses. Modern roses are arranged by colour: white, pink and red to the west; yellow, orange and light pastel colours to the east. At the far end of the garden there are three areas on both sides devoted to the historical varieties and wild roses, which are used for the hybridization of modern roses. In total, there are 2400 rose varieties including 670 historical varieties grown in the garden of Rundāle Palace.
In the baroque era bosquets resembled small sized forests containing a variety of shrubs and trees popular in the eighteenth century. Hedges surrounding the bosquets are made of hornbeam, a popular choice of tree in the stately gardens of Europe. Lilac Bosquets were the first to be created in 2003 followed by the Dutch Bosquet a year later. The Blue Bosquet featuring arbours and a collection of blue and white blooming plants was created in 2007.
Pergolas – covered alleyways for promenades – are also a characteristic feature of the baroque garden. The first vine pergola connects the gardener’s house with the Green Theatre. Two sections of pergolas were made at the Dutch Bosquet and the Blue Bosquet in 2008 and at the Memorial Bosquet and the Playground Bosquet in 2011.
Architect Rastrelli’s design shows pavilions for resting situated in the bosquets. The first pavilion was made in the picnic area after the design of Veitshöchheim Court Garden. The Golden Vase Pavilion beside the central alley accommodates a cafe, while the pavilion in the Oriental Bosquet contains restrooms. It is designed in the Chinese style, which gained great popularity during the eighteenth century.
In 2009 the Museum’s staff began to plant flowering trees and shrubs.
Donations made by visitors have made it possible to build both a historical seesaw and wooden sculptures in the Playground Bosquet. The Water Bosquet is intended for a drinking fountain in a treillage arch reconstructed after the pattern of the arch at Marly Palace. A memorial site was founded in 2011 to honour the victims of both the Franco-Russian war of 1812 and World War I. The Labyrinth Bosquet features an ornamental hedge maze, which is a typical feature of the baroque garden and was created between 2009 and 2016.