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.
The flower designs made by sticking to a recipe, formula or following a picture are not the most imaginative and certainly are not original. These types of flower designs are expected from floral shops that satisfy orders for FTD, Teleflora, 1𗘸Flowers, and other flower wire companies. This is because customers order a floral design based upon a photo or image and request the exact same thing. It is likened to a franchise where you order from a menu and that's what you get, no matter which franchise you visit.