The beautifully tended formal gardens of the palace, arranged in the French style, are a symphony of colour in summer and a combination of greys and browns in winter; all seasons are appealing in their own right. The grounds, which were opened to the public by Joseph II in 1779, hide a number of attractions in the tree-lined avenues (arranged according to a grid and star-shaped system between 1750 and 1755).
From 1772 to 1780 Ferdinand Hetzendorf added some of the final touches to the park under the instructions of Joseph II: fake Roman ruins in 1778; the Neptunbrunnen (Neptune Fountain), a riotous ensemble from Greek mythology, in 1781; and the crowning glory, the Gloriette in 1775.
The original Schöner Brunnen fountain gushes near the Roman ruins while the baroque Irrgarten – a maze complex – is a late-20th-century re-creation with both classical labyrinthian hedges, a viewing platform, games, puzzles and a contemporary playground designed by famous designer Günter Beltzig.
To the east of the palace is the Kronprinzengarten, planted with citrus and flush with pergolas, a pond and a tripartite parterre based on embroidery patterns.