This year, more than 360 private gardens across the country are opening to visitors. Don’t miss your chance to learn from some of the best.

I was at my station, a folding table dressed up with a burlap cloth, checking in visitors at a Garden Conservancy Open Days event maybe 10 years ago and answering questions from those who had already explored my garden, when I saw someone across the yard taking a photograph.

But of what, I wondered — what’s over there? There was nothing in that spot, I felt certain.

And then I realized that there was no way I could know exactly what the subject was. Because it was my garden, as someone else sees it.

Sharing a garden with others is an eye-opener — and it’s not just the visitors who draw inspiration from the experience. Make like a public garden for a day, and you may grow as a gardener, too, by watching and listening (in between fielding questions and identifying the same show-off plants over and again).

This growing season, the owners of 363 private gardens around the country are doing just that, acting as Garden Conservancy Open Days hosts in the country’s largest garden-visiting program. This year’s events, which began in March and will continue though October, are part of a tradition established in 1995 by the Garden Conservancy, a nonprofit based in Garrison, N.Y. Last year, about 31,000 people visited 286 gardens, said Horatio Joyce, the conservancy’s director of public programs and education.

Eleanor Briggs’s garden in New Hampshire, designed some 30 years ago by the landscape architect Diane McGuire, includes long borders that offer places for new must-have plants.Eleanor Briggs

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