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.

The cover of our March 25 issue.

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.

(Linda T. Mihara)

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.

Happy folding!

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.

(Linda T. Mihara)

3. Repeat with the backside flap.

5. Cut a curve, connecting the 2 triangles, as shown.

7. Attach the petals by lining up the triangles and pressing together



Magazine cover story: Beyond Washington’s cherry trees, how did so many Japanese plants find their way into American gardens?

Photo gallery: Hidden zen