Oh, shut up, Neil! Shut up! Shut up. It’s pathetic. I mean, what about radical magazines? What about Kicker boots?! Can we grow them? No, we can’t, can we?! - Rick

Very loosely, part of the Small web movement. The digital garden is a metaphor for a new (or very old) kind of personal website. Not a rigidly chronological blog, or a static site that only contains completed work. A digital garden is more organic; an evolving collection of thoughts in various stages of completion.

Digital gardens are not a new invention but rather a renaissance of the original idea of hypertext. A dynamic, interconnected space for information and ideas.

The Metaphor of Growth and Evolution

The metaphor implies growth, cultivation, evolution, and, crucially, no “done” state. This differs markedly from the processes we inherited from traditional dead-tree publishing.

Personal appeal

It’s attractive to me because of the implicit permission to publish work in progress, and to edit old publications in light of new information. It’s a “colour outside the lines” kind of a permission.


Obsidian, designed for wiki-like note-taking, is a natural fit for the digital garden metaphor. Publication is either via Obsidian’s own Obsidian Publish or via a static site generator (the easiest being Quartz).


Not having to achieve “done done” is freeing. Will digital gardens influence the broader culture of the web?

Maggie Appleton, A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden (2020)

Rather than presenting a set of polished articles, displayed in reverse chronological order, these sites act more like free form, work-in-progress wikis.