You see them in any middle class suburb of any middle-sized Flemish city. They are as old as the houses they stand in front of. They are often older than the inhabitants, who do not seem to know what to do with them. Their sizes are no longer what they were once conceived to be.
Trees and hedges seldomly remain the modest, fashionable stage pieces that long ago turned a front lawn into the epitome of bourgeois tidiness. They wither, they grow lopsided, or become so big they obscure the entire house.
Still, they only stand out once you really start paying attention. When, for instance, you start walking more often through your neighborhood. They become points of reference. The owners you rarely ever see, fleetingly at best. You start imagining those people, just by observing how they have treated their front laws. Some nonchalantly abandoned a lopsided tree. Others stubbornly trimmed an outsized hedge. Or tried, both lovingly and clumsily, to tie withered branches together.
Only when you put that variety of trees, hedges and houses next to each other, you see how similar they actually are.