A whimsical, unconventional aquascape
One of the top things reef aquascapers may envy about planted aquascapers is the creative freedom afforded to freshwater aquascaping. Reef aquascaping is fundamentally limited to recreating a "natural" reef ... in other words: duplicating a slice of living coral reef within a glass box. While there are a lot of reef scenes for aquarists to emulate, these aquascapes are ultimately constrained by imitation instead of pure artistic expression. It's why you never see Avatar or Lord of the Rings-inspired reef tanks (and pretty please, no one try this).
Planted tanks, on the other hand, are unbounded by the shackles of imitation. An aquascaper has creative license to flex his or her imagination to design tanks ranging from naturalistic (like Amano's nature aquariums such as the exhibits displayed at Sumida Aquarium, Tokyo) to purely artistic. The aquascape below tilts towards the artistic end of the spectrum. The results may not be to everyone's liking, but such is the nature of art.