THE NORTH FLOWER Walk in Kensington Gardens runs east from the Italian Gardens. It is both close to, and parallel to, Bayswater Road. About 280 yards west of the Italian Gardens, there is a small, low rectangular memorial stone in a flower bed next to the North Flower Walk. In springtime, a large bush behind it bursts into yellow flowers. It is a forsythia plant.
The North Flower Walk used to be a part of what was once the ‘berceau’ or ‘walk of shade’. According to a document published on the Royal Parks website, this was:
“… a delicious and appealing place to stroll for the monarch on the way to … the site of the Bayswater ‘Breakfasting House’…”
Today, the Walk is filled with walkers, their children, their dogs, joggers, and the occasional cyclists.
The memorial stone celebrates the botanist and horticulturalist William Forsyth (1737-1804). A founding member of The Royal Horticultural Society (founded 1804), he was also the Curator of The Chelsea Physic Garden (from 1771) and Superintendent of various royal gardens including those of Kensington Palace (from 1784). The plant genus Forsythia, a member of the olive family (Oleaceae), was named in his honour.