The Royal Palace gardens are gardens located on the courtyard of the Fire Nation Royal Palace, where the Royal Family can spend their free time for leisure, recreation, and relaxation. Before the Hundred Year War, the Royal Family would often organize garden parties for the nobility. During their childhood, Zuko and Azula would often spend their days in the gardens with their mother Ursa.
In 295 BG, a garden party was thrown at the royal palace gardens by Fire Lord Zoryu to celebrate Avatar Kyoshi's arrival at the Fire Nation to celebrate the Festival of Szeto. The party was attended by over five hundred Fire Nation nobles from various clans, a small group of Earth Kingdom sages, including Lu Beifong and Governor Shing, Kyoshi's companions Rangi and Jinpa, Rangi's mother Hei-Ran with her personal healer Atuat, and the Fire Lord's half-brother Chaejin.
In the beginning of the party, nobles were gathered to listen to a band while the Avatar and the Fire Lord sat on raised daises on opposite sides of the crowd. After the band's performance, nobles had started delicate conversations with each other while, according to the palace garden-party etiquette, the Avatar and the Fire Lord were supposed to approach each other as they spoke with the other guests until they met in the middle. As soon as Kyoshi and her group entered the crowd, a group of nobles who wanted to meet an Air Nomad for the first time, surrounded Jinpa, causing him to be left behind. As the Fire Nation nobility were being sure giving the Avatar her personal space, Kyoshi was approached by Lu Beifong and Governor Shing, who quickly had to leave the party after the latter caused a scene and got humiliated by Kyoshi.
As Hei-Ran joined the party, the crowd near her went silent. She slowly approached Kyoshi, using a cane, as lower-ranked nobles gave her way while military people saluted her. The two talked about her injuries, Jianzhu and Yun, both sharing their regrets over their past actions about Jianzhu and the false Avatar. After Hei-Ran left, Chaejin, who Kyoshi thought to be the Fire Lord, approached her. She went on to compliment the supposed Fire Lord and wished him a glorious reign before getting kicked by Rangi, who informed Kyoshi that the man was not Zoryu.
The nobility froze in shock as they watched the events unfold as Chaejin introduced himself as Zoryu's half-brother. Zoryu arrived shortly after, getting breathless after rushing to the scene. Chaejin mirthfully explained the Avatar's confusion, insulting the Fire Lord even more in the meantime by both addressing him without his title and directly touching him. He then went on to explain the nation's lack of prosperity. Kyoshi resolved to address the nation's issues and attempted to dismiss Chaejin, further insulting the Fire Lord by making him appear weak and attempting to use the right of dismissal in the Fire Lord's presence. Chaejin merrily left the scene as Zoryu stared at the Avatar agape. Being the mentor of the Fire Lord, Hei-Ran jumped in and took everyone away from the party to the turtle duck pond, wishing to prevent a diplomatic catastrophe. Kyoshi apologized for her actions as Rangi explained the situation. After sitting on the bench near the pond, Zoryu apologized for having organized a larger reception than planned, and Hei-Ran began to chide the Fire Lord for making himself seem weak. Zoryu explained the situation between him and his half-brother to Kyoshi, and the two started bonding as the talking proceeded. When they returned to the party, however, they saw Yun, who had gotten nobles hostage in their absence.
Yun had everyone's feet buried under quicksand. As he was making a speech about Fire Nation an Earth Kingdom people, and burying nobles deeper in the meantime, Kyoshi started chasing Yun, and attacked him with her war fans, though he skillfully dodged every attack. After the guards' arrival at the party, Yun tunneled down and Kyoshi and Rangi followed him, ending the party with a disaster.
In 94 AG, Zuko happily talked with his mother until the prince saw his sister burning a flower from the garden. He promptly told on her to their mother, as he thought that Azula's action was wrong. When Ursa scolded the princess due to this, Azula burned Zuko's bottom in retaliation. After sending Azula to her room, Zuko was consoled by Ursa. He tearfully lamented that he did not understand why Azula had "to be so mean", as he had just done what he thought was the right thing to do.
One morning, Ursa and Zuko were feeding turtle ducks at a small pond in the garden. The young boy offered his mother to show her the way Azula fed them, which led him to hit the mother of the animals with a large piece of bread. Ursa berated him while the creature approached Zuko and bit his ankle though was returned to the water by Ursa. Searching the reason why the turtle duck had bitten him, Ursa told Zuko that mothers were protective of their children and would "bite back" when they were in danger, proceeding to bite her son in a caring and playful way. As Ursa and Zuko were walking through the courtyard, both were approached by Azula, who persuaded her mother to let Zuko play with her, Mai, and Ty Lee. She was shocked, however, when she saw her son coming back sodden as a consequence of Azula's plan.
One day around 95 AG, Mai sat off by herself under a tree, looking disinterested as Ty Lee and Azula played together and did cartwheels in the gardens. However, she did show a marked interest in Zuko, turning away shyly and blushing when he walked by with his mother. Azula noticed Mai's obvious crush, which she later revealed to have been mutual, as a cue to humiliate both Zuko and Mai. Then, Mai was ordered to balance an apple on her head, which Azula set aflame. Zuko was subsequently tasked to knock it off her head, though the entire scheme, thanks to the princess' doing, ended up with both of them falling into a fountain on top of each other, much to the amusement of Azula and Ty Lee.
The gardens consist of a huge lake in the center of the courtyard, with different species of animals, such as turtle ducks often found in it. There is a notable fountain in the garden as well, which is the same fountain where Zuko bumped into Mai. It also has a large variety of flora, with lots of trees and lush grass surrounding it. In addition, there is also a gazebo placed right next to the lake.
- The turtle duck pond inspired numerous Earth Kingdom noble families to add similar ponds to their own mansions in an effort to increase their prestige.