Rarely, when I go out, I like to wear a buttonhole. Being a fan of Oscar Wilde (and all the French authors he plagiarised) it has occurred to me that I might try to get hold of a green carnation but until now I hadn’t looked into the idea.
Some green flowers do exist in nature, but the carnation is not one of these. Oscar would sit his carnations in green dye until they took the colour on. I’ll let someone else tell the tale . . .
I have never grown carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus). They seem twee to me. Their one attraction to me is their foliage, which is strongly glaucous. Oscar might have found me a way round this though; his carnations were apparently of the Malmaison type. These seem to be fairly easily available for mail order. Malmaison carnations resemble roses and smell strongly of cloves. Oscar’s favourite scent, I now discover, was Malmaison by Floris (now discontinued). So if I were to go in for these, i’d have something that isn’t shaped like a typical carnation, doesn’t smell like a typical carnation, and then i’d dye it green so it wouldn’t look like a carnation either. Acceptable!
Plus it fits in with the programme on two scores: glaucous foliage and good scent.