The first evidence of a garden around the Colorno Rock dates back to the second half of the fifteenth century under the Sanseverino dynasty. After the accession of Ranuccio Farnese and his wife Margherita Jolanda of Savoy the boundary walls were built with successive earth movements near the Royal Palace to create different levels between the higher and lower gardens.
Also under Farnese rule the transformation of the Italian garden into French style began with the court architect Ferdinando Galli Bibiena. On the extinction of this dynasty the garden was neglected for a while until the arrival of Philip of Bourbon when work began again with the help of Petitot. In 1816 another transformation took place with Maria Luigia of Austria and the garden became an English style park with many rare plants, including the Zelcova Carpinifoglia which still existing. Recent restoration, undertaken by Parma Province and inaugurated in 2000, has brought back to light the original parterre from the first half of the eighteenth century. This covers 24.000 m2: two lateral galleries of Carpinus betulus, 120 m long, frame the parterre with a windowed promenade. Four great geometric flower beds in box dominate the central space. A circular fountain in the centre balances two fountains in the higher part.
In the garden there are 50 terracotta vases containing lemon an orange trees, decorated with the coats of arms of the Farnese, Bourbons and Maria Luigia of Austria. The parterre is hedged by Tilia cordata, linked to a hedge of Taxus baccata in the last ellipse. The small nineteenth century lake with the island of love that leads to the English park, which can now be walked on for a pleasant walk among ancient trees in an atmosphere full of history and romantic suggestions.