The formal design of the Victorian Rose Garden is based on the plan for the Rose Garden at Warwick Castle in England, created by renowned 19th century gardener Robert Marnock. Boxwood-edged beds were planted with pink and white roses. In recent years mauve and yellow varieties have been added as well as a spectacular bed of blue-grey ‘Poseidon’ roses.

Four benches at the main entrance of the Victorian Rose Garden commemorate former Lieutenant Governor David Lam and Mrs. Dorothy Lam, the Province of British Columbia and the British Columbia Buildings Corporation, all of whom jointly financed the garden.

The Victorian Rose Garden was opened in 1994 by Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Victoria. Subsequent generous donations added the central cupola and, in 2014, decorative fencing and gates to protect the roses from deer who live on the Government House grounds.