Halloween has come down to the present-day celebrations surrounded by centuries of folk beliefs that have focused on many different aspect of plants.
In those simpler times, certain plants were thought to help in divining the future, making magical practices possible, and giving protection against the dark side of the spirit world.
Sometimes all these attributes, as well as healing ability, were attached to the same plants.
Apples, for instance, have been a magical fruit over the ages - especially linked with fertility.
A very potent version of apple cider (called The Witches Brew) may have assisted this reputation. It was apparently a traditional Halloween drink.
In Celtic lore, apples were said to attract unicorns, if you were to bury the fruit in the ground on the last day of October.
The old Halloween game of apple-bobbing (trying to pick an apple out of a tub of water, using only your teeth) was used by country folk as a method of divination. Sometimes it appeared to foretell future mates or prosperity or happenings in the future year.
Apple-bobbing could be made harder by blindfolding players.
Hazelnuts were thrown into a fire on Halloween as another way of looking ahead. How they burned indicated much to the watchers: whether a marriage would be happy or a lover faithful.
In those far-off times, the hazel tree was thought to be sacred, and an especially good material for wands. A forked twig of a hazel tree, carried on Halloween, was reputed to prevent drunkenness.
Even today, the forked branches of these hazel trees are used by dowsers to indicate where to find under-round water.
Witches were among the entities believed to be abroad on the night of Halloween - and some familiar garden plants were among those believed to be of use to them as part of their Flying Ointment.
Flying ointment ingredients include aconitum (monkshood), belladonna (deadly nightshade), helleborus, foxglove, and hemp. All are poisonous, and some hallucinogenic.
Combined with other ingredients, flying ointment appeared to be able to give the illusion to participants that they had left the earth.
The practice of carrying lanterns on Halloween originated in Ireland, where large turnips, not pumpkins, were hollowed out and carried with candles inside to illuminate paths and scare away any wandering spirits.
It was the Irish potato famine in the 1840s that triggered the widespread emigration of Irish people into North America, along with their Halloween traditions.
Pumpkins were already a favourite food of the pioneers - soon the new immigrants realized pumpkins were larger than turnips, better looking, and much easier to carve.
In some traditions, lit, carved pumpkins can be used as a light to welcome any wandering spirits who might find their way back to their loved ones on Halloween.
Many plants had a reputation as protection against evil spirits.
Protection was believed to be essential over Halloween.
Hawthorn branches were thought to give protection if you hung them over the outside of your house doors - but you'd regret it if you brought them inside.
Mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia) also had a great reputation for keeping people and their animals safe from anything malefic, especially when planted close to houses.
A traditional protection of cows was tying mountain ash branches to their tails, in the form of a cross.
Anne Marrison is happy to answer garden questions. Send them to her via email@example.com