Herbaceous: Peaceful Game Series

Herbaceous game box
I used fresh lavender from my garden for this picture

Herbaceous game overview

Herbaceous is a relaxing card game where you are collecting sets of herbs and potting them into different types of containers to score points. Each turn, you will draw two herb cards. One of the herbs will go in your private garden and the other will go into the public garden. Only you can access the herbs in your private garden; the public garden is open to everyone.

However, there is a catch to drawing herb cards. You must draw one herb card at a time and decide which garden to place it in before you draw the next. The second card must go in the garden where you didn’t place the first.

Once some herbs have been planted, then you can start potting. At the beginning of your turn, you may choose to pot herbs from your private garden and/or the public garden. You can only pot each of your containers once, and you are trying to get the biggest set of herbs for the most points. If a player takes herbs from the public garden, then those herbs are not available for the other players.

There’s also a fun element to the game where the first player to get three different special herb cards in the glass container gets the herb biscuit, which is worth 5 extra points.

The game ends when the herb deck runs out of cards and all players have finished potting. You will then tally up points and the player with the highest score wins!

Player count: 1 to 4 players

Playing time: 20 minutes

Complexity: Low

MSRP: $24.99

Link to BoardGameGeek page

Herbaceous game herb and container cards
Herb cards and containers for potting

Why Herbaceous is a peaceful game


Herbaceous has to have one of the most peaceful and relaxing themes in the history of board games: planting and potting herbs. Gardening is a great way to slow down from the hectic pace of modern life and that feeling of deceleration is recreated through this theme.


The artwork for Herbaceous is subtle and calming. All of the cards have a natural and organic appearance. As a result, I feel myself slowing down when playing the game. It’s almost like I am actually planting herbs in a real garden.


Not only do I feel myself slowing down as a result of the theme and artwork in Herbaceous, but the gameplay encourages that feeling as well. There are no complex choices to make here. All you are doing on your turn is drawing two cards and choosing which garden to place them in. The biggest decision you have to make in the game is when to pot, but that feels intuitive rather than something you have to think hard about.

There’s also the joy of trying to get the biscuit card! This is a light-hearted aspect of the game that usually leads to some fun table talk among the players about who is going to get to it first.


The components in Herbaceous are simple. There is a deck of cards and a few private garden markers. That’s it. It practically sets itself up. As a result, the barrier to setup is low which makes Herbaceous very easy to get to the table.

I bring up the simplicity of Herbaceous because I’ve noticed that games with few components and minimal setup often encourage a sense of ease among the players. There are typically not as many things to track, which means you can inhabit the game instead of being brought back out of it by making sure you are playing the rules correctly.

Herbaceous game biscuit and special herb cards
Don’t forget about the biscuit!

Is Herbaceous a good game for you?

I highly recommend Herbaceous if you are looking for a light and breezy gardening-themed game that plays in a short amount of time. In addition, I think it’s important to point out the value of games like this. People often have periods of their life where it’s difficult to find the time and/or energy to sit down and play a more complex game with lots of pieces. Games like Herbaceous are a great way to still be able to have regular and satisfying gaming sessions during those periods.

A question for you

As a side note, I’ve been learning about how to improve the quality of my board game pictures. This week I experimented with using stands to prop up the cards in these pictures. How do you think the pictures turned out? Which one is your favorite?

This post is part of my peaceful game series where I discuss tabletop games that I believe have a noteworthy amount of peaceful qualities. Click here to read my previous entry in this series: Everdell.


2 responses to “Herbaceous: Peaceful Game Series”

  1. I really love the artwork in Herbaceous too! I think the use of stands to prop up the cards in these pictures works very well here. I like the sense of depth in the pictures with cards being behind others, but not laying flat on top of each other. The biscuit picture is my favorite!

    • I appreciate the feedback about the pictures! The biscuit picture is also my favorite 🙂

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