Inside the gate this garden opens up to seas of yellow. They create a sense of arrival and are also solutions to problems such as bedrock just inches below the surface. Note the exposed outcrop at bottom right of the photo where it's obvious that digging holes to plant is simply impossible. The Dreese-Williams solution was to build raised planting areas with stone masonry filled with a mix of desert sand and potting soil for a larger root zone. This technique of elevation is also a valuable tool for problem soils such as dense adobe, caliche or hardpan.
These planters disappear beneath the beds of golden barrel cactus, (Echinocactus grusonii), now maturing to very large sizes. They are rarely planted densely enough for such a solid field of yellow color. The designers planted them for year around interest, which is valuable to desert gardens where winter is the most active time for outdoor living and deciduous trees and ocotillo stand bare. Here the planting becomes a giant, naturalistic mass that points visitors toward the destination, the loggia entry, which is the architectural signature of the property.