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This repo (lambdaisland/garden) is a fork of the original noprompt/garden repo, since the upstream repo had not had a Clojars release for some years, and a number of fixes and improvements had accumulated. The version found here is released to Clojars under the com.lambdaisland organization. See below for installation instructions.

At the time of writing both repos are identical in functionality, but this this repo uses the lambdaisland project tooling for handling releases. See for release details.

Also check out lambdaisland/ornament for our styled component companion library.


To use the latest release, add the following to your deps.edn (Clojure CLI)

com.lambdaisland/garden {:mvn/version "1.5.569"}

or add the following to your project.clj (Leiningen)

[com.lambdaisland/garden "1.5.569"]

Original README

Garden is a library for rendering CSS in Clojure and ClojureScript. Conceptually similar to Hiccup, it uses vectors to represent rules and maps to represent declarations. It is designed for stylesheet authors who are interested in what's possible when you trade a preprocessor for a programming language.

Table of Contents

Getting Started

Garden 1.2.5 and below requires Clojure 1.6.0 and is known to work with ClojureScript 0.0-2342. However, starting with Garden 1.3.0 Garden requires Clojure 1.7 and ClojureScript 1.7.x to leverage a unified syntax with reader conditionals, and other major changes in the compiler and repl in Clojurescript.


Garden syntax is very similar to Hiccup. If you're familiar with Hiccup you should feel right at home. If not, don't sweat it!

From your project's root directory start up a new REPL and try the following:

user=> (require '[garden.core :refer [css]])
user=> (css [:body {:font-size "16px"}])

First you'll notice the use of the css function. This function takes an optional map of compiler flags, any number of rules, and returns a string of compiled CSS.

Vectors represent rules in CSS. The first n non-collection elements of a vector depict the rule's selector where n > 0. When n = 0 the rule is not rendered. To produce a rule which selects the <h1> and <h2> HTML elements for example, we simply begin a vector with [:h1 :h2]:

user=> (css [:h1 :h2 {:font-weight "none"}])

To target child selectors nested vectors may be employed:

user=> (css [:h1 [:a {:text-decoration "none"}]])
"h1 a{text-decoration:none}"
user=> (css [:h1 :h2 [:a {:text-decoration "none"}]])
"h1 a, h2 a{text-decoration:none}"

As in Less/Sass, Garden also supports selectors prefixed with the & character allowing you to reference a parent selector:

user=> (css [:a
             {:font-weight 'normal
              :text-decoration 'none}
              {:font-weight 'bold
               :text-decoration 'underline}]])

A slightly more complex example demonstrating nested vectors with multiple selectors:

user=> (css [:h1 :h2 {:font-weight "normal"}
             [:strong :b {:font-weight "bold"}]])
"h1,h2{font-weight:normal}h1 strong,h1 b,h2 strong,h2 b{font-weight:bold}"

garden.selectors namespace defines a CSSSelector record. It doubles as both a function and a literal (when passed to the css-selector). When the function is called it will return a new instance that possesses the same properties. All arguments to the function must satisfy ICSSSelector.

garden.selectors namespace also defines these macros that create a selector record: defselector, defclass, defid, defpseudoclass and defpseudoelement.

garden.selectors namespace also defines many CSSSelector instances such as:

  • Type selectors a, abbr, address and more
  • Pseudo-classes active, checked, disabled and more
  • Language and negation pseudo-classes lang and not
  • Structural pseudo-classes nth-child, nth-last-child, nth-of-type and nth-last-of-type
  • Pseudo-elements after, before, first-letter and first-line
  • Attribute selectors attr=, attr-contains, attr-starts-with, attr-starts-with*, attr-ends-with and attr-matches
  • Combinators descendant, +, - and >
  • Special selector &

and allows to compose complex selectors such as this:

(defselector *)
(defpseudoclass host [x] x)
(defpseudoelement content)
(> (host (attr :flipped)) content (* last-child))
;; => :host([flipped]) > ::content > *:last-child

garden.selectors namespace also defines a CSS3 selectors's specificity function:

(specificity "#s12:not(FOO)")
;; => 101
(specificity (a hover))
;; => 10

Clojure maps represent CSS declarations where map keys and values represent CSS properties and values respectively. Garden's declaration syntax is a bit more involved than rules and understanding it is important to make the most of the library.

Declaration map keys should either be a string, keyword, or symbol:

user=> (css [:h1 {"font-weight" "normal"}])
user=> (css [:h1 {:font-weight "normal"}])
user=> (css [:h1 {'font-weight "normal"}])

Be aware, Garden makes no attempt to validate your declarations and will not raise an error if other key types are used.

user=> (css [:h1 {30000 "nom-nom"}])

We've already seen strings used as declaration map values, but Garden also supports keywords, symbols, numbers, maps, vectors, and lists in addition.

Custom functions

Since Garden doesn't have wrappers for all the possible CSS functions, sometimes you might need to define the function you need yourself. This is where the defcssfn macro comes in handy. Suppose you want to use the url CSS function, even if it's not available in Garden directly you can just define it yourself by simply:

(defcssfn url)
;; => #'user/url

Which will render like this:

(css (url ""))
;; => url(
Strings, keywords, symbols, and numbers

Strings, keywords, symbols, and numbers are rendered as literal CSS values:

user=> (css [:body {:font "16px sans-serif"}])
"body{font:16px sans-serif}"

Be warned, you must escape literal string values yourself:

user=> (css [:pre {:font-family "\"Liberation Mono\", Consolas, monospace"}])
"pre{font-family:\"Liberation Mono\", Consolas, monospace}"


Leiningen commands

Building ClojureScript

lein build-cljs

Starting a Node REPL

lein node-repl

Run Clojure tests, along with a test runner

lein test-clj

Run ClojureScript tests (on Node)

lein test-cljs

Run both Clojure and ClojureScript tests

lein test-cljc

Further Reading & Wiki

Detailed documentation and a developer guide for Syntax, Rules, Declarations, and Plugins is under the community-contributed wiki.

Please contribute!


This project is looking for team members who can help this project succeed! Specifically of interest are people who can

  • help fix bugs,
  • answer questions,
  • merge pull requests, and
  • deploy new versions.

If you are interested in becoming a team member please open an issue and direct message @noprompt, or direct message @noprompt on Clojurians.

The original author, @noprompt, is a busy person with a family, a job, and other projects. Be aware that it may take some time for pull requests to be evaluated.


Mailing List



Copyright © 2013-2019 Joel Holdbrooks.

Distributed under the Eclipse Public License, the same as Clojure.

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Joel Holdbrooks, Priyatam Mudivarti, Ernestas Lisauskas, Arne Brasseur, Julien Eluard, Andrea Crotti & Conner Petzold
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