digital garden

From IndieWeb

A digital garden is a particular practice of creating & growing an online and public IndieWeb presence that focuses more on topics & relationships than a timeline like blogs, has content of different levels of development, is imperfect and often a playground for experimentation, learning, revising, iteration, and growth for diverse content, perhaps interlinked with other digital gardens.

Similar personal site structures:

graphic illustration of the Digital garden with a mix of plants growing in the ground, a potted plant, and a few navigational icons in plant green colors

Common Patterns

In her 2020 essay A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden, Maggie Appleton observed that digital gardens shared the following six patterns, many of which help distinguish them from blogs, other forms of personal websites, or especially anything hosted on a corporate domain.

  1. 📑 Topography over Timelines
  2. 🌱🌿 Continuous Growth
  3. 🍂 Imperfection & Learning in Public
  4. 🎍 Playful, Personal, and Experimental
  5. 🌾 Intercropping & Content Diversity
  6. 🪴 Independent Ownership

Relation to commonplace book

A digital garden is similar to a commonplace book, or sometimes considered a variant of the more generic meanings thereof. However in practice those that publish, grow, and curate a digital garden explicitly by name do so with common attributes that are not common to all "commonplace books" which is enough to distinguish digital gardens as their own thing.

IndieWeb Examples

  • Evan Boehs is using his blog as an entry way into his digital garden
  • Kimberly Hirsh uses her blog as a commonplace book and her website pages as a digital garden.

Examples in the wild

  • Alan Smith, example of a "digital garden" which actually looks like a garden view from above with various plots of content


Community resources


Articles and tweetstorms about digital gardens:


  • "Too many “Digital Gardens” end up as not much more than a record of someone dicking around with their note-taking workflow for a couple of months."—Jack Baty June 16, 2021
  • "people normally like calling their personal wikis a "personal garden". to me, it feels wrong. i don't write for meticulous care & growth, ... that's no garden. it's a mortal abyss. and i find a lot of meaning staring into it."


This page used to redirect to commonplace book, and there were a lot of resources there specific to digital gardens that were moved to this page, as part of splitting off digital garden from commonplace book.

See Also