At the same time as the Castle was being built, Duke Ulrich of Mecklenburg had a large pleasure garden laid out,, which, with its elaborate arrangement of shady arbours, pavilions, fountains and scented plants, fascinated the people of the time. Sadly, we do not have any visual records of this early renaissance garden. Only written records give us an idea of the richly decorated garden, surrounded by a water filled moat. In 1590 the travelling scholar Michael Frank described his visit to the Ducal Residence in Güstrow. "This garden is laid out with amusing walkways, little fountains, secluded springs, many richly scented plants, decorated with exotic fruits and trees, and all so right royally carried out that one can in summertime take a shady stroll and amuse oneself."
In the 17th century the garden was altered by successive Dukes of Mecklenburg and by Albrecht von Wallenstein, who resided at the castle between 1628 and 1629, to meet the tastes of the time. The basic layout of the garden was retained and is recorded in copperplate etchings. Wallenstein had it planted exotic flowers, small fruit trees, spices and the first potatoes, that had only just been imported to Europe as a botanical speciality. Duke Johann Albrecht 2nd of Mecklenburg/Güstrow used the surrounding moat for floating amusements. During the reign of his son, Gustav Adolf, the garden layout was extended with early Baroque buildings. The Castle bridge, built in 1670, connected the new Gatehouse to the Castle, and its glazed archways were used in winter to store exotic pot plants. The area beside the bridge was converted into a fountain garden, and contained, amongst other things, a no longer existing lead sculpture of Hercules.
After the Güstrow Ducal line died out in 1695, the Castle and garden were used for only a few more years and then decayed in the course of the 18th century. After the installation of the State workhouse, which was housed here from 1817 to1945, the Ducal garden was lost. Only in the course of restoration works in the 1960s and 1970s was the pleasure garden renewed. Its present form is based on its layout in the17th and early 18th century. Shady arbours and scented lavender shape the impression of the garden that in the coming years will be subjected to a comprehensive restoration.