For me, once I had the Master Grid, with a bit of caution, I couldn't really lose. If you set it up early, bombs aren't really a problem.
The biggest piece of advice I'd give to someone new to Hexic is that YOU CAN MAKE A STARFLOWER AROUND A STAR!
Also, if you have the Master Grid - you can make 2 pearls at once, only using 10 starflower instead of 12.http://wn.com/Hexic_hd_how_i_get_from_new_game_to_master_gri...
Here is a useful video which shows how to make flowers and pearls in the Master Grid.