The HTML Leaf Book

As you see specimen in the wild, this field guide will automatically fill with samples. Visit on different days to find all the species.


This garden was planted by Spencer Chang for the 2nd issue of in Spring 2023.

html garden is an attempt to imagine what a "seasonal website" looks like, one that rewards visitors for coming back andĀ noticing, a very different and radical act from the way large platforms force interface changes. Visitors are encouraged to take a stroll through and use their inherent browser mechanisms to zoom in and take a closer peek at the plants that call to them.

html garden is composed of digitally-native plants, formed from HTML elements that simulate the growth patterns of real plants (backed by a grammar that means you could create your own plant!). Returning repeatedly will reward you with the sights of growth in each plant along with budding offspring, and you might just find new species as you come to become a regular at this neighborhood garden. The slow growth of the website day-to-day invites returning to the same place on the internet and bearing witness to its change.

This was such a joy (and at times an absolute struggle) to create, play with, and learn from, from not only creating a poetic website, with all the interactions and details that delight, but also creating a system on top of p5js to "draw" with html elements rather than lines using the logic of l-systems.

This project wouldn't have come into being without the inspiration and learnings from Robert Irwin's CentralĀ Garden design, Bhavik Singh's work onĀ l-systems, and the open-source p5js community.

SpeciesWhere FoundSample
Elementum Botonuswhen fun is in the air and play is to be had and desire yearns for effect???
Elementum Chronowhere seconds grow up and minutes learn of the world and hours go to rest???
Elementum Linchinusall the time, everywhere, in the corners and cracks of websites???
Elementum Espandre???
Elementum Lexusin dark places under moonlight, when bright colors contrast with grey backgrounds???
Elementum Basis???
Elementum Datumwhenever the earth has energy to receive the energy seeping off its inhabitants???
Elementum Pictus???
Elementum Porros???
Elementum Separatuswhere words grow like weeds beyond maintenance and meaning, when division is natural???
Elementum Liste???