CULTIVATION _ Asters are most often used now as filler in bouquets and as a delicate accents in gardens. They grow best in rich, wet soil in direct sun _ partial shade, and should be thinned and replanted every two years. Because Asters grow in thick bunches, they can be separated and replanted in gardens in the spring. Asters bloom from mid summer _ early fall and are a perfect choice for a fall wedding bouquet.
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.