When Adrian Higgins wrote about Japanese influence on American horticulture for this weekend’s Washington Post Magazine, art directors Beth Broadwater and Diamond James pondered how best to illustrate the story on the magazine’s cover.
They wanted to artistically make the point that a surprising number of plants familiar to Washington-area gardeners originated in Japan: the camellia, rose, rhododendron, wisteria, forsythia, chrysanthemum, hydrangea and even that perennial local favorite, the azalea.
It was James who thought of having flowers made through origami, a Japanese tradition, then photographed for the cover. The designs originated with origami master Makoto Yamaguchi of Japan and were executed by Linda Tomoko Mihara, an award-winning origami artist based in San Francisco.
We thought the exquisitely rendered flowers might inspire readers to try their hand at the art of origami.
So we asked Mihara to create a simple, cherry blossom design to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Tidal Basin’s glorious trees.
All you need are five Post-It notes and a pair of scissors.
How to make your own origami cherry blossom
Begin with five notes together, placing them with the sticky side up and at the top.
1. Fold in half vertically. It will stick together at the top.
2. Fold one corner down to make a triangle. You will be folding the top five layers together.
3. Repeat with the backside flap.
4. Cut a small triangle through all layers, as shown below at right. Save the small triangles.
5. Cut a curve, connecting the 2 triangles, as shown.
6. Separate all 5 petals.
7. Attach the petals by lining up the triangles and pressing together
8. Add the small triangles from step 5 to the center sticky part, as shown
You now have an origami cherry blossom of your very own.
Photo gallery: Hidden zen