Project Garden Part 1: Ideation

This idea came to me randomly today: I keep a notebook of blog-post and project ideas, and it might be neat and fun to visualise these. Now I forget who it was, but I saw a different tech (I think it was tech) blog which had these garden annotations on their articles. So articles would evolve from seeds to sprouts to plants, the idea being that maintaining a blog was like maintaining a little online garden. I think that also included the plants withering over time, which I’m not so keen on; most posts don’t need constant updating imo (and I certainly don’t have the time for it). But I really like the metaphor.

What is the idea then? The idea is to create some sort of Trello-like board, whose layout is generated from a list of future projects. The visualisation would contain patches of “soil” for ideas to populate, and as they move from the “todo/potential” section to “in-progress” to “complete”, they would move location in the garden and grow into different plants. I could maybe even do something fun like having little plant signs for the different tags/categories, but let’s get an MVP going first.

Picture of a notebook with a drawing of garden paths and soil plots, some with
plants in them, and signs above columns of plants labelled TODO,
IN-PROGRESS, and DONE. All drawn in purple

I have no idea what I’m going to make this in. Probably some sort of JS-based thing, although who knows what. I’ll update this post with some sketches and considerations for tools+frameworks once I’ve looked into that. Update from 2023-11-16: I had a look at various libraries and P5.js seems to be the best balance between ease-of-use and design freedom, so that’s where that’s at.

I’d like to play around with pixel art, and procedurally generated plants/saplings/branches and gravel paths. We’ll see how it goes. For now I’m just putting this out here so I actually do it and not just leave it in my notebook. I really should be writing my thesis want something fun like this to exist, and I think it could be an interesting project. So hopefully by putting this up on my site, I’ll actually do it ^^

And once it is done, maybe that will get me to finish all those other posts and ideas I’ve had for (in some cases literally) years…

Anyway, that’s all folks. Hope it was interesting to read, maybe it even sparked some ideas of your own. In any case, thanks for reading and have a great day : )


  • 2023-12-10: Finally uploaded the further ideation I did only 4 days after writing the original post…

(Here’s the full notebook brainstorm, in case that’s interesting. Ink is Pantone Colour of the Year <3):

Picture of notebook with bulletpoints summarising the blogpost, as well as the

Thomas Ekström Hansen
Thomas Ekström Hansen
PhD student in Computer Science

My interests include information visualisation, formal methods, and low-level programming.