Although a smooth, pure expanse of turf seems to have been the ideal to which medieval gardeners aspired, it would have been very difficult to keep weeds and wildflowers from springing up through the grass. Even today, with exorbitant sums of money spent on herbicides and obsessive lawn culture, it can scarcely be done.
One of the commonest—and prettiest—plants shown growing in grassy enclosures and grounds in medieval art is the English daisy, Bellis perennis. This small, short-stemmed daisy is represented in myriad paintings, tapestries, and illuminations, and also figures in many a medieval allegory. It was deliberately introduced into the lawns at The Cloisters some years ago, and will be encouraged this year.