89-year-old Moorhead woman allowed to keep lawn of daisies

Yard drew attention from the city after a neighbor complained about her lawn full of blooming flowers.

89-year-old Moorhead resident Shirley Iverson walks past her yard of flowers.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News
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MOORHEAD — Shirley Iverson of south Moorhead is a plant and flower queen. The retired Moorhead elementary school teacher has had them outside her 1917 home for decades.

"I like all flowers, but I'm particularly fond of daisies," Iverson said, walking near her yard.

This summer, like every June, Iverson watched as her favorite daisies came up all over her yard.

"(They began) growing here maybe 20 to 25 years ago and they just kept spreading, so then I encourage them by tossing seeds everywhere," Iverson said.

"I get so many compliments. One young woman had her young child along and had a picture taken," Iverson said proudly.


Everything was well and good for Iverson until a few days ago, when the city of Moorhead put a notice on her door saying her daisies were taller than 8 inches and in violation of the weed inspector office rules.

It started with a handful of North Dakota farm families from Norway. This weekend, descendants of those pioneer settlers are throwing a party for one of the state's oldest congregations.

"I just can't believe the person who put the sign up didn't notice they were flowers," Iverson said.

Iverson called a member of the Moorhead City Council, who called the inspections office, and before the weekend, she got a call from the city saying the daisies are fine.

"I love my daisies," she said.

Since the daisies have bloomed and are at the end of the season, Iverson plans to mow them down anyway. She will collect the daisy seeds so others can get a view like this.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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