Because willows love moisture they do well along banks of streams and are useful to control soil erosion. Properly pruned they make dense screens and borders, as well as specimens for the yard.
Forcing/Cutting For Display Indoors
Budded Pussy Willow branches will bloom indoors as early as February. However, the closer they are to their normal bloom time, the faster they will bloom prematurely indoors. Cut stems on a mild day. The more swollen the buds, the sooner they will open in the warmth of the house. To maintain a pleasing natural shape for the shrub, choose branches that the shrub will never miss. The longer the selected branches the more flowers there will be. Long stems are also more versatile for indoor arrangements.
Once indoors, cut off the ends of the branches for a fresh cut, slit the woody ends to help them absorb water, and immediately immerse them in warm water to soak for 3 to 4 hours. Strip off any leaves that will be underwater, then place them in a dimly lit, cool place until the buds begin showing color.
If you choose, you can remove the pussy willow branches from water when the fuzzy fur-like buds are very full and looking their best. Then if you let them dry they will stay attractive for many months.
For more information see the files on Keeping Cut Flowers and Cut Flower Supplies