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Part IV in a five-part series featuring gardens on the Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association (www.gmia.net) spring garden tour.


By Miriam Raftery

September 21, 2010 (Mt. Helix) -- The turreted home of Ron and Mary Alice Brady sits atop a 1 ¾ acre hilltop on Resmar Road, with stunning 360-degree views. Reminiscent of a Mediterranean villa, the residence features clay tile roofs with staggered heights, mosaic-tiled chimneys, octagonal skylights and a three-story glazed, leaded glass stair enclosure.


Wrought iron gates and a replica Camino Real bell welcome visitors to this estate, where several weddings have been held. The grounds include an oval lawn bordered by bonsai-style pines, sycamore, towering podacarpus, bottle trees and more.

A winding path leads to a spectacular rose garden with 100 rose bushes as well as cycads, palms, a weeping mulberry tree and a spectacular spreading coral tree. Nearby, a terraced kitchen vegetable garden and lemon trees provide bountiful harvests.

A peaceful courtyard atop the slope features a bronze statue of Quon Yin, the Chinese goddess of love. Topiary olive trees trained by Ron Brady and a flooring of herring bone-patterned Cameron stone, antique terra cotta tiles, slate and Mexican beach pebbles add to the villa’s ambience.

The home also features two swimming pools, one with full outdoor kitchen, barbecue, and outdoor furnishings.

The other is a dramatic vanishing edge pool that  appears to cascade

over the edge of the mountain. The pool, which affords dramatic distant ocean views on a clear day, also has a shallow beach entry for chlidren.



Above, a second story spa perched on a stone base affords commanding views; stairs lead down to a cozy poolside outdoor fireplace.

A side yard on the western portion of the property is abloom in angels trumpets and plumeria, also featuring well as kinetic “Wind Art” sculptures by John Tyler and a Buddha sculpture. Fruit trees and a portico covered with flame vine and lavender trumpet vines enhance the estate grounds, providing both a bountiful harvest and beauty.


Read other stories in our Hidden Gardens of Mt. Helix series:


Part I:English Tudor's country gardens are fit for royalty: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/3833


Part II:  Where adventure never ends: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/3939


Part III:  All aboard! Model railroad provides focal point at collector's home: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/4088


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