The garden was created in a time that saw the transition from the predominantly landscape designed garden to the architectonically designed garden.
Around 1910 garden artists dedicated to reform asserted themselves against the traditional Lenné-Meyer school. The new garden style should relate to old artistic traditions, for example design principles of renaissance gardens, gardens, baroque and rococo gardens. However in opposition to this, there was a return to the forms of a functional garden according to the ideals of the old farmhouse-, Biedermeier- and monastery gardens. The garden Marlier is an important example of the reform oriented architectonic garden style, embedded in a landscape garden.
Contemporaries pointed out the skills of the architect, Baumgarten, to blend his buildings "into the characteristic atmosphere of a landscape". Baumgarten situated the Villa Marlier in the middle of the grounds and simultaneously underlined its depth by creating a driveway that leads axially towards the house. This again ends in a rectangular forecourt that reflects the width of the building. Axial and symmetric design are continued in the three terraces of the garden and waterside at the back of the house. The building is shifted onto the outermost rim of the decline so that the raised terraces and the lawn parterre present a view of the Wannsee as seen from a bastion.
A diagonal line in front of the building links the southern, lowered flower parterre and the northern geometric forest garden with the house in to a three winged ensemble, that emphasises its representative castle character. Spread all over the grounds are different forms of garden architecture: the "Neugierde" (curiosity) at the outermost eastern corner of the plot, the pavilion north east of the house near the stone garden, the bastion directly east in front of the house, as well as the little garden house, stair cases, walls, the lake bank walls and sculptural decoration (amongst which is the especially remarkable Hermes statue at the incision of the diagonal with the Bearch-Rododendron avenue).
Originally, in the grounds there were several side buildings, such as the gate house at the main entrance, the gardener's house with the green house and poultry house at the side entrance, and also a boat house right by the waters edge at the south eastern border of the grounds. South of the house there was a big flower garden. The orchard and the vegetable garden west of the green house had more of a functional character. Three rose trellises arched over the pathway between the orchard and the cold frames.
.Over the years, various changes have been made in the garden area. For example, the manifold garden paths were asphalted and covered with gravel in the 30s. After the purchase of the house through the SS, a 24m x 10m hut was built on the northern part of the lake bank. The modification of the big oval shaped flower bed on the forecourt probably stems from this time are. It was made smaller in order to create more parking space for cars. In the years after the war, it came to various changes took place in the context of restoration measures, such as for example, the demolition of the SS-hut.
Due to the installation of a memorial site and the research that was made for the restoration of the garden, the site underwent wide-ranging historic reconstruction works since 1988. Worth mentioning is the restoration of the flower garden and the erection of its fountain. Also the orchard was partially revived. The asphalt coating was, to a large extent, removed from the paths and replaced by a porous surface. The former green house was turned into a cafeteria. The vegetation stock was heavily reduced and new plantings were added (especially ivy and shrubs). The partially successful attempt at reconstructing a garden idyll stands in stark contrast to the historic importance of the site at the beginning of the genocide of the European Jews. Visitors often strongly sense this contrast between the idyll and the horror, which they often point out.