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CSS Zen Garden

  1. Lest to get off-topic in the "Sandbox designs competition announced", I'm creating this one here.

    TT said:

    I love the appearance of the Zen Garden site :) Faded Flowers is my kind of theme.

    Then, TT, you should check Floral Touch and Dazzling Beauty. These designs don't have faded flowers but they still have some... flowers. You might like them.

    Or what about Peace of Mind or The Original?

    No doubt, these designers are very talented.

  2. I checked them all out and I like this one best
    However I want 3 columns ie. 2 sidebars on the right hand side.
    I don't like the fonts or colours of the fonts.
    And I don't like the two different kinds of flowers.
    I can't see how Page tabs would be displayed or how Parent and Child Pages would work.

  3. i quite like floral touch. i love dazzling beauty. peace of mind is really zen. the original is very masculine. i like the one timethief highlighted too.

  4. If The Original was a WP theme, I'd definitely use it.

    What about Elegance in Simplicity? I think you girls would like something like that too.

    Dark Rose looks nice too.

    And one of my all time favorites: The Final Ending.

  5. elegance in simplicity looks similar with peace of mind, but it's still nice and i prefer it over peace of mind. i love dark rose! the final ending would be an excellent theme during halloween.

    i have css upgrade can i use these themes?

  6. Well, you would need to ask the creators first if they'd authorize you to port their designs into Sand Box. It would be really cool to have one of those designs in

  7. so meaning it's not ported into sandbox at the moment? css n00b speaking. =) yes, it would be excellent to have them in!

  8. I'm just getting started on this CSS, and boy is it a lot to learn. Once you've got it, you've pretty much got it, but all that code looks like bizarre poetry in a foreign language at first. Zen Garden has some lovely examples, though. I'm hacking my way through the tutorials at right now.

    What is it about Sandbox that makes it so CSS-able or whatever? I gather you can wipe all formatting out of it completely (seen some horrible examples in the forum), so is that what's unique about it? You can start from zero?

  9. Sandbox would be the WP version of CSS Zen Garden. I mean, CSS Zen Garden is using one HTML file to show all the different styles the participants have submitted. They just change the CSS.

    With Sandbox, like CSS Zen Garden, you can use the 'same' HTML elements and CSS classes and make them look however you please. It's very cool.

  10. oh, so sandbox = css zen garden, except that in we use sandbox, and css zen garden for anywhere else?

  11. No, not anywhere else because you wouldn't be able to use the styles used in CSS Zen Garden on any other site.

    I apologize if I'm not clear enough explaining this.

    What happens is that CSSZG is showing you that once you have your elements and classes defined, you won't need to touch your HTML to change the look of your site. All you'd need to do is change your CSS and voila. It's the same thing with Sandbox. You don't need to touch the HTML code, only the CSS.

    The same can be applied to any website that's CSS based for presentation. For instance, in the old days you'd write something like this:

    <font color="#ff0000" size="2"><b>Warning, this is a hazardous place!</b></font>

    The above would produce a big text in red and bold. But what if your design changed and you needed to italicize it, make it blue and not bold? then you would have to go and change these properties in the HTML code:

    <font color="#0000ff" size="2"><i>Warning, this is a hazardous place!</i></font>

    With CSS you don't have to do this anymore. You'd need to define a 'warning' class in your HTML and change its appearance using CSS. Example:

    <div class="warning">This is a hazardous place!</div>

    So, in your CSS, if you want to make this text big, bold and red you'd do something like this:

         font-size: 20pt;
         color: #f00;
         font-weight: bold;

    (There is a shorthand for the above code, where you can write those attributes in one line, but I've never been good at writing the font shorthand.)

    Now, if your design changes and you need to change your warning text to orange, italics, not bold and a bit smaller than before, plus you want to add a background color to it, then you'd just need to modify your class definition like so:

         font-size: 16pt;
         color: #f90; /*I think this is the code for orange*/
         font-style: italic;
         background: #eee;

    When you load your page, this style should be applied and you didn't even have to mess with the HTML part. Cool, isn't it? :)

  12. @devblog
    I understand what you meant when you responded to sulz
    but I'm not sure she did.

    Key Questions:
    How are the Zen Garden themes licensed?
    Are they GPL?
    Are their designers willing to "freely share" their themes with wordpress?
    Is wordpress interested in approaching Zen Garden?

    Zen Garden is not a template factory and most of the themes designs themselves and the graphics specifically are NOT available for use unless you have specific permission from the designer.

  13. Results from searching for the answers to the Key Questions above cont'd ...

    Notes on Copyright
    While you retain copyright of your images, submitting a design to the Zen Garden requires open licensing of your CSS file so that your work may be shared, studied, and enjoyed by everyone else.
    The only exception to the above is that by submitting you agree to extend a limited license of your images to the CSS Zen Garden and its proprietor, Dave Shea, for the purposes of display and promotion of the site. The images will not be re-sold or re-used in any context other than the original Zen Garden design you have submitted, although this design may be reproduced in other media such as magazines or books for the sake of promoting the project.
    And finally, by submitting your design, you grant the Zen Garden perpetual license to re-use your images under the above terms. You may decide to re-sell or later re-use your images, which is perfectly acceptable under the terms of this license, but you may not revoke the original license to the Zen Garden. In plain English: if it goes in, it stays in.
    Last updated: 13 Apr 2004

  14. @devblog
    Having set the licensing "issue" aside I can see that here at the sandox theme competition aims to do what Zen Garden has previously done.

    There has not been a strong interest in blogger initiated css customization of existing themes at And many of the themes have not been updated to their most recent versions.

    The results of this competition will be a selection of sandbox designed css altered themes that bloggers can purchase upgrades for and simply do the copy paste thing to have them up and running.

    I have zero interest in spending my free time and energy struggling to master css, and posting my difficulties to the forum so I can be "nursed" through the learning process.

    Hopefully, one of the 3 column themes produced for the competition will be appealing to me. If so, I'll purchase the css upgrade. And if not, I won't. :)

    Thanks for posting here and resolving my issue. ;)

  15. TT,

    Key Questions:
    Are their designers willing to "freely share" their themes with wordpress?
    Is wordpress interested in approaching Zen Garden?

    Honestly, I don't know that. What I do know is that CSS Zen Garden is a place where you can show off your graphic design and CSS skills.

    It would be nice if some of those designs would be ported into Sandbox.

    I would participate in the competition, but my graphic design skills suck. I'm better at coding :D

  16. Understood. And anything else we have to say can be said in email, right. ;) So you can mark this as "resolved".

  17. sure thing.

  18. oh dear still no understand but know cannot use csszg atm so that most important and =( thing to know.

  19. I get it now, thanks. That was a great explanation.

    Most of the people at Zen Garden are professional or trained graphic designers (it stipulates that right up front) so the quality of their design work is very high. We probably have a few good designers around here as well, so hopefully they'll take up the challenge.

  20. I sure hope so because I'm aiming to be wowed! by the creativity we see.

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