Garden Origami

few years ago I became obsessed with origami and, for awhile, our house was filled far into the night with the quiet sounds of crinkling paper as I folded Christmas ornaments, bonbon dishes, butterflies, cranes, and bellflowers. I sent away for special paper to make origami strawberries, and for glow-in-the-dark paper for origami stars and moons, and I even learned how to make a tiny Santa Claus, complete with a tassel on his hat. I made tiny books, barely one inch square in size. Any hobby, though, when taken to feverish extremes can head in the direction of insanity, and it was while I was attempting to fold a squirrel that at one point looked like a walrus, and that ended up looking like a T. rex, that I felt a gasket blow, and I walked away from origami and took up beading.

From that time spent in the origami whirlwind, I am left with a pattern that is useful in the garden, called The Cup. Folded from squares of newspaper, The Cup can be used for making seed packets and for seed starting. If you are digging up a plant for a garden visitor, a large Cup can be rustled up from sheets of newspaper, impressing the visitor to no end. A Cup can even be pressed into service as a hat if the gardener is desperate enough.

Tilt it for a rakish charm.


To make a seed packet, fill Cup (made from 6-inch square) with seeds and fold one of the flaps over the top. Tape closed. Works best with largish seeds.

For starting seeds, open The Cup and squash the bottom on a hard surface. Fill with seed starting mix, and plant with seeds. Fill a flat with these seeded Cups. The Cups can be planted directly into the soil when the seedlings are ready.

For holding “passalong” plants, take four to six sheets of 12 x 12″ (approximately) newspaper and fold.

A 24 x 24″ sheet of newspaper will yield an adult-sized hat!

Here is the pattern:


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