Western style arrangements typically consist of a free form assemblage of flowers in a container. In contrast, Ikebana is more of a disciplined form of art, governed by well_defined rules, principles and techniques. For example, certain precepts regulate elements like the light and the shadows. There is also what is known as the three points of balance _ shin_fuku_tai in Japanese _ which symbolize man, heaven and earth, respectively, and that have to be in harmonious equilibrium in order to give true life to an Ikebana flower arrangement. This and the fact that stems and branches are used in addition to flowers, are perhaps the most obvious differences with western_style flower arrangement.
Many people feel flowers are not something within their reach because they see them as an expensive extravagance. While there are many flowers that may outside of your budget because they are more rare or out of season, if you choose flowers that are readily available and fairly common, you will find them an affordable luxury and one that will brighten your day and your home. To keep costs to a minimum, you will want to talk to a florist about what flowers meet your needs without breaking the bank. They will know plenty about seasonal and more affordable flowers and arrangements and how best to care for them.