If you were the lucky recipient of a Valentine's Day bouquet this year, you might be wondering what your beloved was trying to say with his or her choice of flowers. Most probably one of the following:
- I adore you
- I know what you really want is for me to regrout the bathroom, but that's not very romantic, is it?
Or possibly a combination of all three. But let's focus on number one being the true sentiment of those flowers. According to Ed Saperia, the creative mind behind Cryptofloricon - an online floral decoder, encoder and dictionary - 'I adore you' should be conveyed with just five simple flowers - a lily, two chrysanthemums, and two gerberas. Gosh. That's a bit cheaper than a dozen roses, isn't it?
Writer and artist Ed was inspired by the forgotten art of Victorian floriography - or the language of flowers - and has created more than 200 secret flower codes to help us express our innermost feelings in the most beautiful, fragrant way, using just a handful of different blooms. That's not to say the hidden messages are always beautiful and fragrant. Oh no:
Yup, you'd better watch out if you ever receive two lilies and three chrysanthemums. What a lovely way to tell someone they're a creep, though. If that's not quite strong enough for you, perhaps 'go and die in a hole' is more suitable for your needs.
Squee! Pretty much exactly how I feel about Cryptofloricon.
Oh, I'd love to send someone an evil laugh in floral form. Suggested responses? I'd favour a simple Whatever or WTF?, but it could be fun to declare all-out war. It'd be like the War of the Roses, except with a lot more actual roses, and a lot less bloodshed and, y'know, death. You could always call a truce with 'Help, I'm trapped in a florist's!'.
It's not all frivolity and facetiousness at Cryptofloricon, though. There are plenty of serious sentiments to choose from, too. How lovely would it be to receive a pretty 'don't give up' posy after a difficult day?
Following the success of their pop-up florist near London's Brick Lane last weekend, I'm hoping we'll see a lot more of Cryptofloricon this year. In the meantime, have fun choosing a coded message to send as your next floral gift - and don't forget to direct the recipient towards the decoder so they can find out what the hell you're on about. Then sit back and wait for their response to arrive...
I think I'm going to talk exclusively in flowers from now on. Which means there's nothing left for me to say except: