But now it seems that, like most crusaders, the green-fingered campaigner known only as the Human Shrub does not work alone.
Yesterday the gardener turned up at a shabby communal garden with a trusty sidekick – his wife, Mrs Shrub.
She arrived decked out in the trademark foliage suit, teamed with a bright pink apron and a tray of cherry bakewell tarts.
The pair had organized a party of volunteer gardeners to descend on the scruffy patch of land in Hubert Road in Colchester, Essex. The team – rounded up through social networking site Facebook – spent the morning sprucing up the patch, weeding and planting donated shrubs and flowers.