The gardens were planned in the 1970s to promote the town and celebrate its heritage. Annapolis Royal was a French settlement established in 1605 under the leadership of the Sieur de Mons. Four years older than Quebec, the colony was called l'Acadie and its culture is called Acadian. The name was changed to Annapolis Royal when it became British. It was a land of thick forests and salt marsh. The Historic Gardens are designed to represent gardens at various periods in Acadia's history. La Maison Acadienne et Potager shows an French settler's dwelling, the Governor's Garden represents the period after 1710, the Victorian Garden represents the 19th century. An Innovative Garden represents the modern period.