Lisgar Gardens covers an area of 2.4 hectares (six acres).
The site was originally purchased in 1917 by Max Cotton (1887 to 1967) from his brother Leo, specifically for the purpose of creating the gardens. In 1967, Hornsby Shire Council purchased the property, naming it Lisgar Gardens.
Built on a steep hillside, the gardens' different levels were created by the construction of sandstone block walls. By 1950, the gardens were planted with rhododendrons, azaleas, gardenias and other exotics in harmony with native trees and ferns, highlighting the seventy two varieties of camellias.
Some of the original camellias still exist in the gardens today and are now over fifty years old. The gardens now boast over ninety varieties of camellias, a covered pavilion for weddings and other celebrations, a shade house containing the fish ponds, a gazebo, three waterfalls, informal lawn areas, picnic tables, and a rainforest walk.