My earliest memories of the mountain camp were rows of African daisies in all colors and variations lining up in the front yards. That was in the 70s, when daisies were the fad.
Eventually, those colorful petals dropped dead to give way to other flower trends. The 80s were all about new arrivals – geranium, dahlias, anthuriums, American roses, orchids, Rubias, Baby’s Breath, Dona Aurora, Million Flowers, and the incomparable African violets – a misnomer since at home we had whites, pinks, blues, oranges and no violet African violets. There was an annual contest and winners were the superstars – people flock to their houses to get ideas, beg for seedlings, cuttings, and seeds, or just take photos.
But came the 90s, and flowering ornamentals became passe. Roses were unceremoniously uprooted and dumped in the compost pile. They became fertilizers to what was garden rage that time: foliage – ferns, palms, shrubs, and everything green. Camp Phillips looked like a Moroccan oasis; there were palms everywhere. And this trend brought the worst specie ever planted in Camp Phllips – the golden lantana.