Cooley Gardens is an eclectic garden, typical of formal estate gardens in the early part of the 20th century.

It is composed of garden rooms enclosed by shrubbery, each with a different theme of planting. Within a formal structure the plantings have the informal exuberance of an English cottage garden: roses tumbling together with perennials spilling out of their beds and stately hedges providing a sense of order. Expansive open spaces where concerts and weddings are held contrast with small intimate areas where the visitor intimately experiences the plantings.

Construction of the gardens was started in 1940. By 1942, the major work was completed, and the gardens were dedicated to “the horticultural education and pleasure of garden lovers.”