Jeannette Ross photosMany people are familiar with the Sunken Garden at the Weir Farm National Historic Site, but how many have visited the Secret Garden? Both gardens will be the focus of attention on Sunday, June. 25, as part of Connecticut\u2019s Historic Gardens Day. From noon to 4, there will be a ranger or volunteer on hand to show off the gardens, identify plants, and answer questions. As it does every weekend it is open, the site will put out watercolor kits for those inspired by what they see. To be a member of Connecticut Historic Gardens, sites must not only have a garden that is historically significant, but at least one historic house accessible to the public. The gardens at Weir Farm, home of American Impressionist painter J. Alden Weir, were designed by two of his daughters, Cora and Dorothy, each of whom inherited a part of the 248-acre property. The Sunken Garden, which is near the visitor center, is the legacy of Cora Weir Burlingham. Created in a low area left when a road was built up, work began in 1932 and was completed in 1940. Cora\u2019s original planting design no longer exists, said Greg Waters, Weir Farm\u2019s integrated resources program manager. It was redesigned in 1958, he said, and then again in 1998 by Norma Williams of the Wilton Garden Club to resemble as closely as possible Cora\u2019s plant and design choices.. Williams worked from historic photos to maintain the \u201cbasic bones\u201d of the garden, Waters said. \u201cWhat holds it together is the serpentine of boxwoods and columns of boxwoods,\u201d he said. The columnar boxwoods are a modern substitute for the original choice of dwarf Alberta spruce, which he said, is not deer resistant \u201cand not dwarf.\u201d Cora\u2019s original choice of perennials was also replaced by deer-resistant varieties which include an unusual dwarf aster called Purple dome, as well as columbine, snakeroot, yellow foxglove, perennial geranium, pulmonaria, and spiderwort. \u201cCora had it planted for spring and fall \u2014 probably because she wasn\u2019t here in the summer,\u201d Waters said, but today the garden is planted for all seasons. Along with the sunken garden, Cora created the terraces across the road and enjoyed container plantings around the house, something a dedicated group of volunteers, called the Garden Gang, maintains. Secret garden When the park was established in 1990, all that remained of Dorothy Weir Young\u2019s secret garden were the remnants of a sundial, part of a fountain, some stone work, and a few plants. It is thought this was a flower garden planted by Anna Baker Weir, the artist\u2019s wife. Four paintings or sketches executed by Weir in 1905 depict a small flower garden near his studio. A photo from that time also exists, showing the family around the fountain. \u201cThere was no planting guide, but we\u2019ve made some good guesses,\u201d Waters said as to what was originally there. This garden was restored by the Ridgefield Garden Club and when members began work in 1994, the fence surrounding the garden had been long gone, but archeological testing revealed spacing for the posts that were recreated. The original boxwoods were still there, but had grown to a spindly 16 feet tall. \u201cThey cut them back, but they couldn\u2019t get them to grow right, so they took cuttings,\u201d Waters said, and essentially created clones. Here, deer are not a problem since in addition to the fence, a thick Victorian shrub called Deutzia surrounds it, creating a screen, making the garden a \u201csecret.\u201d With no deer to worry about, garden club members planted the handsome garden with an heirloom musk rose, peonies, day lilies, asters, phlox, and yucca as well as the small boxwoods. The sundial and fountain were replaced with the same designs. Eighteen gardens across the state will participate in Historic Gardens Day. Information: cthistoricgardens.org.