Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club’s Coffee in the Garden


On Sept. 12, RSF Garden Club member Shelley Linde hosted a “Coffee in the Garden” for club members to enjoy her garden and experience her 2,000-square-foot aviary and her “family” of rare birds.

Linde and her husband, Peter, shared their incredible garden, which is a mix of lush tropicals and elegant succulents. But the real stars of the day were the dramatically plumed exotic birds that fill the Lindes’ aviary.

The Lindes have created a tropical paradise for their birds: a Green Wing Macaw named Cookie; a Hyacinth Macaw named Oliver; a Mini Macaw named Bugsy Malone; and an African Grey Parrot named Popeye.

“These wonderful birds can lived 60 - 80 years,” Shelley Linde said. “They were all bred in captivity, but many species of exotic parrots are now endangered in the wild. So those that are being bred in captivity are preserving the species.”

“All of the birds speak,” Linde told the group,”but Popeye is the best conversationalist. He has a vocabulary of about 2,000 words. The birds have the intelligence of a small child. They don’t just mimic, they associate language with objects and simple ideas. Just like children do as they learn to speak.”

In addition to the tropical garden, Linde and her husband have developed a hedge maze in their back yard. “We started this for our little granddaughter. It is a wonderful utilization of the sloping terrain and it’s great fun for her. Because it is a blooming hedge, it creates the prefect little girl’s back yard adventure.”

The Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club hosts monthly Coffee In the Garden events. It is an opportunity for members to share their gardens with like-minded garden enthusiasts, to exchange ideas and to meet other members. These events are generally for members only, but occasionally they are open to guests also. Check the Garden Club website at for upcoming events.