The taller vines in the background (hard to see here) are about ten years old. I remember when they were planted and looked like these.
We had a contractor in yesterday to give us an estimate on painting the den (the very room where this wonderful blog comes to life!). It's more than just a paint job. Old (very old) wallpaper needs to be removed from around the built-in cabinetry; we could not manage it ourselves twelve years ago, so sections of the wallpaper are still up on the walls. That involves removing a large cast iron radiator (which will also be painted). Then some very significant fissures in the plaster need to be repaired on the ceiling and walls. Next, smooth paper will go onto the ceiling and walls (to strengthen the plaster and help hide future fissures) and it will all be freshly painted.
The contractor has done very good work for us before (roof and kitchen ceiling), so I'm not expecting any surprises and we will probably accept his estimate. He said he has a week available in June to do the work and that works for us. I will likely take pictures and post them here. You weren't expecting that, were you?