Tending to Mr. Cabbagehead’s Garden and the Neighbors

October 17, 2020 | Sessions | 8 comments

Tend to a lovely garden surrounded by some of the worst vegetable people neighbors with Mr. Cabbagehead’s Garden.

In terms of unique themes, Mr. Cabbagehead’s Garden often tops the list! Although it may look silly on the surface, it’s actually quite a challenge to plan out a vegetable garden and protect it from the nosy neighbors. Many a parsnip or turnip has disappeared. I steeled myself against the vegetable people and set my sights on the blue ribbon!

Game Overview

Game Name: Mr. Cabbagehead’s Garden
Publication Year:
Todd Sanders
Todd Sanders
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game

Never mind the grasshoppers… They’re the least of the trouble! The goal is to plant a vegetable garden to earn the coveted blue ribbon from The Garden Club. Capitalized, as Eudora Brassica reminds us all. But the neighbors will stop at nothing to steal whatever suits them most. Never mind the fact that they’re walking vegetables… Irrelevant. Ha!

Preparing to Impress and Romance Eudora Brassica in Mr. Cabbagehead's Garden

Trouble Next Door

There they were. I randomized the 4 neighbor tiles to use with this session. What a group! Perhaps this was a good neighborhood, what with the mayor living nearby and all.

It isn’t just a case of having different portraits, though. Each neighbor has a specific vegetable preference.

Tokens are drawn each round, and the neighbor with the most tokens at certain points will rush right on in! Many times before, my garden was decimated. So awful!

Yet part of the strategy is around mitigating the damage. It’s quite a challenge to plan around the pesky neighbors.

The Start of the Neighbor Infestation in Mr. Cabbagehead's Garden

A Glorious Holiday

At first, I had a solid strategy working in my favor. The right vegetables showed up and the neighbor tokens were kept to a minimum. Mostly, that is. I wasn’t perfect!

So there I was, watching the garden as Mr. Cabbagehead himself took off on holiday. Suspicious, sir. SUSPICIOUS.

However, luck was on my side! 3 neighbors tied for the most number of tokens. The result? A bit of squabbling at the gate and absolutely no damage to the garden.

The level of satisfaction was extreme. I literally yelled at the neighbor tiles in triumph. The excitement! Ha ha!

A Lucky Kind of Argument at the Gate in Mr. Cabbagehead's Garden

Cal and the Mayor

Little by little, the garden continued to take shape. With a few important ways to score points, I had my eye on that blue ribbon. Eudora was going to be amazed by this effort.

Of course, the neighbors continued to glance over the garden wall. I didn’t need to look up when the Mayor of Onion Town was close. You know we can smell you, right?

Well, well. Another holiday, and another stalemate at the gate! Callahan had quite a lot to complain about.

The mayor’s expression said it all. Although, the poor guy… Being a half-onion man can’t be easy all the time!

A Terrible Time for the Mayor and Ol' Callahan in Mr. Cabbagehead's Garden

Thrice is Quite Nice

Goodness! The final round was a tricky one. Only 5 cards are added to the garden each round, while the others determine the number of neighbor tokens. Very clever!

At first, it looked like Duke and Duchess Peapod were getting ready to move in. So I planted a tasty pepper to protect the rest of the vegetables. Sorry, little pepper.

By some strange stroke of luck, though, there was another pile up at the gate. No stolen vegetables at all?! Awesome.

With a full garden, Mr. Cabbagehead could return home to a glorious sight. But what would Eudora think of it all?

The Very Last Holiday and Another Neighbor Debate in Mr. Cabbagehead's Garden

Across the Garden

A small but wonderful aspect of the game box is what’s often hidden… The inner areas. These feature gorgeous garden scenes that can accentuate the planting area.

How lovely it was to look out across the carrots! But I could just imagine some of those terrible neighbors lurking in the shrubberies. What a difficult place to be!

Still, Eudora showed up with The Garden Club. And gave me a yellow ribbon. Ugh. Such a disappointment.

Yet I was reminded why I love this game. Nothing is easy, as the gardening itself takes a lot of careful thought.

Looking Out Beyond the Vegetables in Mr. Cabbagehead's Garden

Halloween Pumpkins

I had to. When the pumpkins showed up early and I had the chance to plant a few of them, it was just the perfect opportunity for some Halloween fun!

This StoryWorld card is one of my favorites. It has plenty of scary elements, though it fits right in with October.

Special thanks to my husband, who held a box overhead to prevent the excessive glare from the lighting! I need to work on that in the near future. Definitely.

The blue ribbon slipped through my fingers, but at least I grew some prized pumpkins! David S. Pumpkins?! Ha!

Getting Ready for Halloween with Pumpkins and StoryWorld with Mr. Cabbagehead's Garden

Session Overview

Play Number: 24 and 25
Expansion: Mr. Cabbagehead’s Garden: Karl Rotabagge
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
Play Details: Played with Grasshoppers and Romancing
Required Play Space: 16″ x 20″
Setup Time: 5 Minutes
Play Time: 10 Minutes per Play
Outcome: 98 and 76 (2 Losses)

Middling gardening. That blue ribbon really does take quite a bit of effort to earn! I’ll just have to keep trying. With this luck, though, the neighbors will stay away!

Cordial Applause and a Snicker from the Neighbors with the Yellow Ribbon in Mr. Cabbagehead's Garden


20 Plays


Price & Value



Challenges & Mechanics



Design & Theme



Components & Rules



Achievement & Enjoyment



Distinctness & Randomness


+ Pros (Positives)

  • Vegetable people stealing vegetables may sound silly, yet the quirkiness makes for a very unique experience.
  • Each play lasts for about 10-15 minutes, but it feels like a lot more happens with the multiple neighbor phases.
  • Planting vegetables isn’t only about choosing the best card since the unused cards play into the neighbors’ favor.
  • There are many different combinations available with the neighbors, and each play can be vastly different.
  • Little details show the care that went into the design, from easy-to-read numbers to the interior box artwork.
  • Gameplay is very challenging with multiple ways to score points and the constant threat of stolen vegetables.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • There is no included storage for the neighbor tokens, so setup can involve a little tediousness with sorting them.
  • The neighbor tiles feature text that is small and difficult to read, although the rulebook duplicates the details.
  • Luck plays a significant role in the types of neighbor tokens that come out and which vegetables are available.
  • Although there are upgraded bee meeples, the extra cost feels unnecessary since the basic tokens look better.

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Continue the Conversation

What are your thoughts about Mr. Cabbagehead’s Garden? Is there a particular neighbor who always destroys your garden? Ha ha! The premise really is unique and gives a lighthearted, comical undertone to the stolen vegetables. I still have yet to find a good way to score points… Must get that blue ribbon! This is truly a gem, and I’m so glad to own it.


  1. Thanks so much for the pun playthrough/review!

    • You’re very welcome! Playing and writing about this game is always so much fun. Though I think Eudora isn’t too happy with my efforts… I am no master gardener at this time in my life. Ha ha! Thanks again for making this awesome game happen!

  2. “What an… unusual plant. What is it?”
    [whip-crack] [screams of pain]
    “I call it a triffid.”

    Sorry, I just can’t take the theme seriously. 🙂

    • Ha ha! I can’t take the theme seriously myself, although that’s what adds to the charm for me. I laugh most of the time picturing what the neighbors are up to!

  3. I appreciated your review a lot!
    This is definitely one of my favourite light solo games – great to relax with after a long day.
    I played a 200 games in the first 3 months of 2018, (100 without grasshoppers and Eudora, 100 with) and it was fun to see the variety in the tiles and tokens. On the whole, I liked the extra uncertainty introduced by the grasshoppers, and the added incentives for placement that Eudora brought.

    It’s been a good while since I brought the game out, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the new neighbours affect the decisions.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Jacob! That’s an amazing number of plays in a short period of time. This is definitely your kind of game! I’ve taken breaks from favorites, too, yet they continue to be fun for me with plenty of fond memories. I’m excited about the new neighbors, too!

  4. Backed this on kickstarter after hungering for it (but no other vegetables) for almost a year. Can’t wait for it to arrive. So quirky and your write-up just reinforced that it was the right call to back it!

    • Ha ha! This is such a unique game in my collection. The gameplay mechanics are amazing, yet the theme really brings it to life in its own way. I hope it arrives relatively soon so you can have some fun vegetable adventures, too!


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