ELLE (Canada) - - Escape -

Cam­bo­dia’s lo­tus flow­ers to­tally cap­ti­vated me. Be­cause they rise un­tar­nished from the muddy pond wa­ters where they grow, they are Bud­dhist sym­bols of pu­rity. But they are even more beau­ti­ful when their strong pe­tals are care­fully pulled back and folded— like pieces of or­ganic origami—into a va­ri­ety of in­tri­cate de­signs. I de­lighted in each of the dif­fer­ent folded ar­range­ments I came across—see a slide show of my favourites at

Here’s how to do a ba­sic fold: 1. Gen­tly loosen the outer­most petal and pinch-fold it in half. 2. Form a tri­an­gle by fold­ing the petal in

on it­self twice. 3. Care­fully tuck in the end. 4. Work­ing in a cir­cu­lar mo­tion, con­tinue to fold pe­tals back un­til you get as close to the cen­tre as you like. Folded flow­ers will keep fresh for

sev­eral days be­fore they begin to brown.

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