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Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Long time passing?

According to Pete Seeger’s 1955 political folk song, the answer to the question ‘Where have all the flower’s gone? is ‘Young girls have picked them everyone.’ Well, they’d have to have been very busy along the Breamish Valley to account for the ‘disappearance’ of the monkey-flower Mimulus.

Back in June 2015, the banks of the River Breamish were covered in glorious yellow and orange mimulus flowers. The flowers seemed to carpet the banks and small ‘islands’ in the river. They seemed to be everywhere. Over recent years, though, it’s a different song.

Extract of sheet music

There seem to have been far fewer – just a few clumps here and there, and I haven’t been able to identify what’s common about the few places where I’ve seen them growing.

Some residents may recall that 2015 brought a lot of river flooding along the valley and perhaps it was this that caused the seeds to disperse beyond where they were capable of growing? Whatever the reason, it’s been relatively more difficult to find this beautiful flower. However, 2021 seems to be showing a bit of a revival and more established ‘clumps’ of both yellow and orange Mimulus can be seen in all their glory along the river banks. It’s well worth going out to see these…before the young girls pick them…everyone!

Close up photo of single Mimulus flower
Close-up of yellow ‘monkey-flower’
Photo of orange mimulus flowers
Orange mimulus on banks of River Breamish


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