It is said that the practice of flower arranging was originally used in Japan to pay tribute to the gods, and the floral arrangements were therefore considered sacred. In Japan, historical records documenting the appearance of traditional flower arrangements date back to about 500 years ago. It was in the seventeenth century that followers of this new form of artistic expression started creating the rules leading to the formation of what would eventually become the disciplinary art that is now known as Ikebana. The diversity of forms and methods that were developed over time made Ikebana a much more sophisticated form of art. In the end, Ikebana has become a discipline where the stage for the artistic expression is set by the harmony achieved through the combination of natural materials (flowers, stems and branches), the container, and the lines and forms that characterize the art of Japanese flower arrangement.
Flower arranging today is more than merely putting together a bunch of bright beautiful flowers in a pretty vase. Much thought goes into the art of each professionally designed bouquet. The artistic nature of flower arrangement means that no strict rules need to be followed by designers, but there are three very distinct styles into which arrangements can be categorised.