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From the Author

“What Has Captivated Me To Raise Blue Ribbon Dahlias”

As a Professor and one of the founders of the Pediatric Surgery Department at the University of Minnesota, life became very challenging in many respects. It was imperative in my life situation, to find ways to relax and capture enjoyment to blot out my daily professional skirmishes, both surgically and politically, working in a large institution. I was stimulated to raise Dahlias, a beautiful form of nature, by a patient who was head of the Dahlia Society. I have found creativity is very important in dealing with patients, and one needs a clear mind to deal with frustrations. It is my hope that this little treatise in raising these beautiful little forms will capture the interest of many other individuals who are in responsible positions dealing with daily decision making. It is fascinating to me in working with this endeavor, the relaxation and clarification of one’s mind that captures one’s compulsive and hopefully innovating existence.

For more photos and dahlia updates from Dr. Leonard, please visit

It is Dr. Leonard’s delight to share his love of Dahlia gardening with you. One of his (many) other passions is conducting innovative cancer research at the University of Minnesota.

Please support Doc’s cancer research by making a tax-deductible donation to the Arnold S. Leonard Cancer Research Fund at Thank you!