The Italian Garden at Hatley Park is the most formal garden and is physically attached to the castle by means of a surrounding wall. Standing on the Terrace looking over it, the symmetrical layout is clear – straight brick pathways and box hedges define the spaces within. A loggia and pergola at the West End are covered with fragrant Wisteria and provide shade in the heat of summer. A series of Italianate statues representing the Four Seasons are placed around the perimeter, and marble urns decorate the centre beds.
Bay trees in concrete planters punctuate the pathways and were an early feature of the garden. Plantings here are seasonal, lush and colourful annual plantings through the summer give way to the quiet and more somber mood of winter. This is the time that the framework of brick, box, and sandstone balustrades give definition to what was Laura Dunsmuir’s favourite garden.