Many primitive people of noble highly developed civilisations treated trees, flowers and plants with great respect. Often trees were associated with having supernatural powers, being gods, ancestors and associated with different forms of worship, whilst flowers and plants were viewed too as also having medicinal applications and miraculous healing qualities.
The Druids, particularly, believed that trees possessed great mysterious powers especially the rowan and the oak. It is currently believed by some that the power and strength represented sybolically by the tree trunk could be the reason why standing stones were erected to reflect the respect bestowed upon nature. Since ancient times man has been influenced by trees throughout Europe, whilst we can see such images reflected in Mexican sculpture and carving, and also in Ancient Indian artefacts where sacred trees have played a central role in the belief systems. The Ancient Greeks too are known to have highly respected the power and nobility of trees as paintings and pottery indicate images of reverence and gratification.
Perhaps today the idea of touching wood, to ward off evil and encourage good luck, is a living remnant of our ancestor's spiritual practice, as in ancient times touching wood indicated respect of the tree and the mysterious powers of the spirit gods that inhabited the trees and woodlands. Currently, it is thought that to grow chives around the bottom of an apple tree will improve the general health of the tree. Perhaps learning more about the interdependency of flowers, herbs, plants and trees may lead us to a further understanding of how to improve our local environments? Browse through the associated sections on this site to know how this may be possible.