Fleischmann Gardens Is Hidden in Plain Sight in Avondale

The park, donated by the Fleischmann family of Fleischmann’s Yeast fame, is home to Ohio’s largest Ginkgo tree.

Photograph by Brittany Dexter

Strolling into Fleischmann Gardens, your eyes meet a storybook scene. Behind the iron gates and a boxwood maze is a line of magnificent trees and Narnia-esque streetlamps. But the foliage-filled landscape doesn’t just look like a secret garden; despite its prime location at the corner of Washington and Forest avenues, few are aware of the Avondale staple. “The farther you get away from that neighborhood…the less likely you are to know that [Fleischmann Gardens] even exists,” says Michael George, senior naturalist with Cincinnati Park Board. The gardens were part of the estate of Charles Fleischmann, who co-created the first commercially produced yeast in America. After he died in 1897, his children bequeathed the 3.2-acre lot to Cincinnati Park Board to memorialize their father. Since then, the board razed the Fleischmann house, expanded the garden to 4.4 acres, and added a playground. But the garden’s “centerpiece”—a 93-foot-tall Ginkgo tree—has stayed put through it all. Crowned the largest Ginkgo in Ohio, the tree boasts a 247-inch circumference and towering branches. Trees like that make an impression on you, George says. “You’re not soon to forget them.”

Photograph by Brittany Dexter

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