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Warm December Great For Construction, But Not Ideal For Plants

(CBS) -- While many of us are enjoying this warmer weather, you'd think it would be great for your plants. But, folks at the Chicago Botanic garden say not exactly.

Remember when construction and winter were the only two seasons in Chicago? CBS 2's Vince Gerasole reports this December, with temperatures well above average, they are coming together and crews are loving it.

It doesn't just feel good. At Navy Pier, where a multimillion dollar expansion in underway, it's helping crews catch up on some projects and even work ahead.

"We're getting more work done. A lot of time weather will cause you to take delays, cancel days and these days are great," said Navy Pier COO Brian Murphy. "We've been working a couple extra hours."

At the same time, with dots of spring colors sprouting at the Chicago Botanic Garden, it seems Mother Nature forgot to tell some plants that winter just arrived.

"What's key is this extended period of the warm weather starts to break some of the plants up," said Tim Johnson, director of horticulture at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

The pink flowers on the fragrant viburnum don't usually bud until late February. Spring pansies are already popping and cold weather should have already caused the yellow and green fall kale to wither away.

A pleasant surprise for now, but Johnson says, "Their flower buds if they open too much, then they get frozen and you don't have as many spring flowers."

It's all building up to warmer thoughts in a December to remember.


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