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How this garden works


I have to admit, I did cheat a bit when setting up the framework for my garden. On my journey for the technology to use for this garden, I stumbled across The Blue Book. It's a very simple, easy-to-use, and lightweight feeling garden. Since it's so customizable, it has the opportunity1 to look better than some of the other technologies I tried.

How did I cheat? I only cheated in that I followed the instructions and forked2 a copy of the repo. This way I had a foundation to start with and could customize as needed and be on my way. Who wants to reinvent the wheel? As they say, "A good sysadmin is a lazy sysadmin".3

As usual, when I set this up a couple of months ago, I took almost 0 notes along the way. Nothing like trying to remember all the details afterward! This will also be another WIP as I remember what I’ve done and also as I make other changes along the way.

Actual useful information

Main ingredients:

I write most of my code in vscode but I write a lot of content in a text editor (usually Word or Apple Notes) for the grammar/spelling and then copy and paste to vscode for the version control.

All of the content is markdown files. Every commit to the GitHub repo builds the website using mkdocs and pushes it to my garden. The main config files are in / and the content itself lives in the docs directory.4

Monitoring is done with uptime robot.

My garden uses the UNLICENSE.

Into the weeds

In / is a Makefile for mkdocs. This builds the static site and starts up a server for testing. By default the server that launches only runs on localhost, this line in the Makefile will run it on all interfaces:

pdm run mkdocs serve --dev-addr=
Once changes have been made locally, I push my changes to the repo and viola! The site is built. If a build fails, I get an email saying why.

I’m using markdown link checker as a GitHub action so when new changes are pushed will verify all the links. Currently5 this bit fails every run because of so many false positives, but I intend to fix that in all of my copious free time.™. Luckily it still builds and deploys so…

Gave up on markdown link checker after a few days of seeing errors being defeated by the configs. I just have better things to be doing and in all honesty, mkdocs does a fine job at link checking so maybe when I get around to it I'll come up with something else to check external links. The link checker didn't like a lot of the stuff in the security section and I suspect most others will as well, so maybe some other time.

As mentioned at the bottom of the README, the stats are done with SCC.

DNS Records for custom domain should point to the appropriate address


  1. Opportunity is key since I definitely don’t have an eye for art 

  2. What is a fork? A GitHub fork is a copy of a repository (repo) that sits in your account rather than the account from which you forked the data from. Once you have forked a repo, you own your forked copy. This means that you can edit the contents of your forked repository without impacting the parent repo. 


  4. This can be customized in mkdocs.yml 

  5. 2022-05-12