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Garden reloader component

A "Sierra Component" that watches your Garden stylesheets for changes, and compiles them to CSS.


Add lambdaisland/garden-watcher as a dependency in project.clj (Leiningen) or build.boot (Boot).

[lambdaisland/garden-watcher "0.3.0"]

Create vars containing Garden-style declarations, and add a ^:garden metadata to the var.

(ns sesame.styles)

(def ^:garden main
   [:h1 {:color "blue"}]
   [:h2 {:color "green"}]
   [:h3 {:color "red"}]))

Now use garden-watcher.core/new-garden-watcher, passing it a vector of namespace names, to get a component that will watch and compile each var with a :garden metadata key in the given namespaces to a CSS file.

(ns user
  (:require [com.stuartsierra.component :as component]
            [figwheel-sidecar.config :as fw-conf]
            [figwheel-sidecar.system :as fw-sys]
            [garden-watcher.core :refer [new-garden-watcher]])) ;; <------

(defn dev-system []
   :figwheel-system (fw-sys/figwheel-system (fw-conf/fetch-config))
   :css-watcher (fw-sys/css-watcher {:watch-paths ["resources/public/css"]})
   :garden-watcher (new-garden-watcher {:watch ['sesame.styles]}))) ;; <------

The above will generate resources/public/css/main.css, and recreate it whenever styles.clj is saved. By combining it with Figwheel's CSS reloader you get instant reloading in the browser.

Use of metadata

Garden provides a macro, garden.def/defstylesheet, that allows you to pass compiler options to garde.core/css. By adding :output-to this allows writing stylesheets that "automatically" create the corresponding CSS files. When using garden-watcher you should not use defstylesheet.

With defstylesheet the compile-to-CSS happens as a side effect of loading the namespace, which makes it impossible to load the namespace without generating the CSS file, or generating the CSS without reloading the namespace. Therefore garden-watcher chose a different approach.

Instead create regular vars, adn tag them with a :garden metadata key. You can use a map to add compiler options, including :output-to.

  ^{:garden {:output-to "resources/public/styles.css"
             :vendors ["webkit"]}}
   [:h1 {:color "blue"}]))

If you don't specify an output file, it defaults to resources/public/css/{{var-name}}.css

;; This creates resources/public/css/anja.css
(def ^:garden anja
   [:h1 {:color "blue"}]))

Note that Garden provides garden.def/defstyles macro that allows you to get rid of the (list ,,,) (that's all that macro does), so this code is equivalent:

(require '[garden.def :refer [defstyles]])

(defstyles ^:garden anja
  [:h1 {:color "blue"}])

Or you can use garden-watcher.def/defstyles, which does the exact same thing, but automatically adds the :garden metadata, so this code is equivalent again:

(require '[garden-watcher.def :refer [defstyles]]) ;; <-- different namespace

(defstyles anja
  [:h1 {:color "blue"}])

One-off Compiling to CSS

To generate CSS files from these vars, use garden-watcher.core/compile-garden-namespaces:

(compile-garden-namespaces '[sesame.styles])

garden-watcher also includes a "main" entry point to make it easy to invoke this as a build step.

lein run -m garden-watcher.main --namespace sesame.styles

E.g. say you're building an uberjar containing compiled ClojureScript and CSS.

(defproject sesame "0.1.0"
  :uberjar-name "sesame.jar"

  :profiles {,,,

             {:prep-tasks ["compile"
                           ["cljsbuild" "once" "min"]
                           ["run" "-m" "garden-watcher.main" "--namespace" "sesame.styles"]]
              :omit-source true
              :aot :all}})

Watching for changes

garden-watcher.core/new-garden-watcher creates a component that, upon starting, reloads the given namespaces and generates CSS files for all vars with :garden metadata, and then watches the filesystem for changes, recompiling the CSS whenever a namespace is saved.


Copyright © 2016 Arne Brasseur

Distributed under the Mozilla Public License 2.0 (


A component that watches-and-recompiles your Garden stylesheets.




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