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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Gardening: Nature-themed board games can be fun gift option for gardener in your life

Poppies are some of the flowers featured in the board game Blossoms by Rebel.  (The Spokesman-Review archive)
Poppies are some of the flowers featured in the board game Blossoms by Rebel. (The Spokesman-Review archive)
By Pat Munts For The Spokesman-Review

The ground started freezing last week and with it ended doing anything outside except plow snow and wait for spring. The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions mean we won’t be able to do many of the social things we gardeners normally do in the off season. We are going to need to stay home and find our entertainment there.

With Christmas coming, maybe one way to create some fun is to give the gardeners in your life some good old-fashioned board games to play while we wait for things to thaw out. Board games have regained popularity as a way to pass the time with people in your family or social bubble. Here are a few of the many options.

Bosk, published by Floodgate Games, is a game that has the player build a forest of trees. The word “bosk” means a thicket or small forest. Each of the two to four players control a species of tree growing in a national park. The game takes you through all four seasons of the life of the trees. By planting trees in the spring that grow into summer, you get extra points by impressing passing hikers. In the fall, you score even more points when the falling leaves land in your game space. But watch out for the squirrel game piece that can change everything. This game takes a lot of strategizing and forward thinking. The game board is a work of 3D art that creates a growing forest as the game proceeds. The game is suitable for ages 13 and up and takes about 40 minutes to play. Cost is around $30-$40.

Photosynthesis by Blue Orange Games is a game based on elegant botanical and ecological themes and is driven by strategies that keep your trees out of the shadows of other players’ trees. The goal is to seek out the best place to find the sun at any corner of the board. Each player starts with a small tree and through the game does things to help their tree grow and find the best light. The unknown influence on that process is the ever-changing sun angle created by a sun game piece that moves around the board as the game is played. The game is suitable for two to four players ages 8 and up. It retails at around $40 or less.

Blossoms, published by Rebel, is an easy game for two to four people ages 8 and up to play in about 30 minutes. Each player grows certain kinds of flowers that are then put into a “pot” where they grow longer stems and bigger flowers as the game goes on. At some point a player cuts their flowers and places them into a personal bouquet. Points are scored on the impressiveness of each flower, made up of the number of cards for the same flower, in the bouquet. The game has a few twists and turns but is easy to pick up. Cost is around $25.

Pat Munts can be reached at

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