1. Which woman/story did you relate to the most? Why?

2. Susan's garden led her from breast cancer back to health. What did her garden help her discover about herself? What insights have you gotten from gardens? From an illness?

3. For some of the women, the garden has nurtured friendship and created community (Susan, Eleanor, Carol, Judy). Has this happened in your life? How?

4. How did Francie's experience in the Elizabethan knot garden give her a greater understanding of her mother? Has gardening ever helped bridge a generation gap in your life? Did your mother or grandmother use plants as remedies or for other purposes (for example, lavender as a moth repellent) as in Elizabethan times?

5. If you were to write a story about your experiences with gardening, what would the theme of your story be? What title would you give your story?

6. Some of the women were influenced by their parents' or grandparents' love of gardening or nature (Susan, Nancy, Eleanor, Zoe, Julie). What childhood memories do you have about family gardens/gardeners?

7. Sue regards her garden as sacred space that enables her to move into the spiritual realms of her life. Do you think gardening/gardens have a spiritual aspect?

8. Mary, whose native plant garden has evolved over many years in harmony with surrounding nature, says, "Change is built into life … if you're not able to change, you're dead." Yet many people struggle with change. How do you deal with change in your life? Has gardening ever helped you accept change more easily?

9. Beth talks about the "flow of grace" that brought into her life exactly what she needed at the moment she needed it. When have you experienced the flow of grace in your life, in the garden or elsewhere?

10. Zoe and Julie love the way their flower farm enables them to be part of the cycles of the earth. How do gardens keep you connected to the seasons? Do you have a favorite season in the garden?

11. What is the most memorable experience you've had in a garden - your own or someone else's?

Reading Group Guide Questions

Volume discounts available for book groups, garden clubs, fundraisers, etc.
Author is available for speaking.
Contact cfrapp@att.net or call 703-241-1610.

Garden Voices: Stories of Women & Their Gardens
By Carolyn Freas Rapp    ISBN:  0-9758891-3-3
Front cover of Garden Voices