In August, a vase of voluptuous flowering "cuts" from the garden may stay fresh for only days. In January, most choices are either dried-in-place or woody or evergreen. In a vase, they could last many weeks.
For New Year's Day, I put stems of giant pussy willow and southern magnolia in a large vase, then left them alone to cool their heels clear into mid-February. By yesterday, both were still lively—and the willow stems livelier than ever.