And while it looked good when it filled in, it was a bit lacking in support structure, and the pothos have a leaf die-off several times a year and either looked yucky with dead leaves, or I would often have to drag an extra tall ladder all over to pull the dead leaves out.
So finally, I cut them all down and started growing hoya plants to replace the pothos. Hoya may look terribly fake, but they seldom loose leaves and are really quite sturdy... and grip a structure better as well. The trouble was, the hoya were taking forever to grow from little cuttings of my plant and it took until now for them to barely be ready to start attaching to the trellis.
With them finally wanting to attach though, I needed to get going on new paint above the cabinets and add and organize the structure of the bamboo rods a lot better as well. While you can't see the tops of cabinets normally in a house, here you get a nice view of the over-sprayed and yucky cabinet tops from the loft, so they were a big necessity to get painted.
But following close on the heels was doing some patch and repair work to the upper edge of the wall where water damage had been done from the skylights not being sealed well at some points over the years. Then the upper edge needed ceiling paint all around the edge to cover the repairs and make sure cream color would not show at the edge of new paint.
For the walls, I chose a darker color than I would normally ever put inside a house... mostly since I have lived in very small houses that become terribly closed in with anything besides very light colors. However, with big open rooms like we have here, I think it looks great.... and I already had the paint on hand. It will make the vines and leaves of the plants not stand out as dramatically, but I also thing it does a good job of defining the space and almost making the plants not truly "necessary" up there. Of course, they will be amazing when they grow in, but it doesn't look so empty and off-kilter now that the darker paint is up.
So the first coat of green went up... close, but not fully to the ceiling. I have found often that it is easier to "cut in" with a brush after the walls are painted instead of before... but that opinion seems to change with each project.
In the mean time, to bolster my sadly little plant cuttings, hubby helped me find several other varieties of hoya plants by calling around town for me, and I got them potted into three large planters each filled with 5 varieties of hoya. Hopefully they will all grow, mingle, and spread together well.
Back again to painting for a second coat and getting the upper edging done up to the ceiling.
Then removing over half the bamboo rods and putting them back up with twice the structure and a lot more security to the supports. I used small panel nails in the ceiling, and also needed a few places on the bottoms where the rods could not go in the corner of the cabinet tops. Then I also added a larger vertical bamboo to the open left hand corner as support. (The rods used to extend into the alcove over the hallway where the attic fan draws from, but this blocked access and I think stopping at the edge of the kitchen, like the paint, helps to define the kitchen as an area better.)
The plants are in Wick Containers
, so I water them with a hose once each 6 to 8 weeks. I also put some plastic light diffuser doubled up under them to allow for air to flow under the pots. This is important because if you ever have a little water overflow, it can dry instead of rotting between your cabinet and pot base.
I ended up using every single piece of bamboo I had on hand, and at the end I thought I was exactly one rod short, but managed to angle a spare piece a little and get all the structure done.... barely. And while the twine ties were critical for support with the handful of rods before, with all the added structure, they are mostly decorative now. Which is good... because I can't find my roll of twine. So I just added a few at random with what I had removed and I think it looks fine.