Author of ‘Love in Red China’s Garden’ Adrian Webber on the Heart of China

Love in Red China's Garden by Adrian WebberAdrian Webber joined the NHS as a graduate management trainee in 1980, after completing a politics degree at Warwick University. He was rapidly promoted and tipped right from the start as a high flyer destined for the top. Despite this, Adrian had developed from an early age a love of plants and an interest in how they could be framed within designs.

He had no way of knowing, however, that his early love of plants would begin an adventure that would eventually lead him to China.

Check out the official blurb for his new memoir, Love in Red China’s Garden, followed by an author post by Webber himself on the Chinese culture he has grown to love and why it appeals to him.


Adrian Webber is about to give up a respectable career in hospital management to follow his dream of becoming a garden designer at the prestigious botanical gardens in Beijing. As the first Westerner to do so, Adrian will be sailing into uncharted waters, but he cannot yet predict how this decision will change his entire future.

Follow Adrian as he gets to grips with the Chinese way of life in this insightful, moving and often amusing memoir that charts the mishaps and cultural misunderstandings that threaten to overwhelm the foreigner in a strange land. Journey with him as he explores his new home, and prepare to be gripped by a love story that blossoms in the face of adversity.

When Adrian falls hopelessly in love with a beautiful Chinese girl, he must do what he can to win her, despite the fact that they come from two vastly different worlds. Soon he must face her family in Tibet– as without their permission the couple cannot marry – but the road to happiness is unlikely to be easy as Wu Shu’s mother has already branded Adrian a spy…

Funny and strange, but not a day seems to pass when there isn’t a ‘China story’ being carried by the broadsheet press. There seems to be an endless curiosity about the People’s Republic of China. Strange too, because I am convinced that the majority of Chinese are unaware of this phenomenon. I also suspect that even if they did know, they would not care. We foreigners are scarcely relevant to them and why should we be? We do not impinge on their daily lives as they do impinge on ours.

No, they quietly get on with their lives – their only concerns appear to surround their work life and its security and, of course, their families – the centre of the world. I believe that we in the West do not really understand this fundamental fact. The Chinese family is not just the centre of a Chinese person’s life – really it is the heartbeat of China and if anything is certain in this world, it will always be so.

China, for me, also has the happy knack of getting into your blood – and when it comes to food, literally so. The smell, the aroma, of certain Chinese foods can instantly transport me back to China – a China on a warm sultry evening, probably. The perfumed steam from jiaozi dumplings being boiled on an open brazier or plain noodles the same. You are back on a Beijing pavement nearing a happy, smiling street vendor, confident of a sale.

Also, the Tibetan Plateau in the west of China can be brought back magically to life by a nearby barbecue laden with sizzling lamb kebabs causing the dripping fat to spark the coals and smart the eye with its distinctive woody smoke. You are once again, breathing China.

China. Whenever I think of that great country, the same two things always seem to well up inside me: the Chinese family, followed quickly by Chinese food.

Familiar. Symbiotic. And, true.

Adrian Webber

Love in Red China’s Garden by Adrian Webber will be published 29 June 2012 and is available to pre-order now.


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