South African protea, gerbera and leucospermumin subtle tones of rich pinks and oranges combined with folded pandanas leaves in a simple hand_tied design is an unusual arrangement which would be suitable for any occasion. Striking bouquets made from tropical red heliconia flowers in a variation of sizes and interspersed with tropical palm leaves are flamboyant and chic. Muted creamy Cala lilies with intricately placed foliage can be produced to make a real personal statement. Bird of Paradise flowers with their striking blue and orange colors artistically placed in a trendy vase and simply complimented with a single gerbera in the same burnt orange is remarkably stunning.
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.