I have noticed that western style gardens _ such as those seen in big castles, for example _ characterize themselves by man_made forms that generally follow symmetric patterns. In contrast, Japanese gardens, while also man_made, always try to recreate lifelike landscapes, by using not only botanical elements but also water, gravel, rocks and other natural components. In a similar manner, when compared to western floral arrangements, Ikebana compositions also have a stronger emphasis in reproducing natural settings.
Place your ornamental cut flowers into your water vase, make sure that you put it one by one. If it's going to be a design or floral arrangement against a wall or flat surface you have to put the tallest or longest cut flowers at the back. If your design or flower arrangement will be visible from the sides place your longest or tallest flowers in the middle. Begin with the longest or the tallest, and then go out to the lips or edge of your flower container. Now, take time to look at your flower vase, is it beautiful and pleasing to see? Did it turn out to be symmetrical? Is there a spot or an area that needed to be filled in with more flowers?