Pugh Gardens offers unfettered tranquility

Couple builds oasis in far west Canadian County

With coffee in hand, Daniel and Ruthie Pugh make their way to a bridge that overlooks the quarter acre pond and water feature close to their home. (Photo by Emily Loughridge)

By Emily Loughridge
Contributing Writer

CALUMET – Escaping the continuously noisy city can be a blessing not often found in the OKC area, which is why Daniel and Ruthie Pugh built their own oasis – far from the cacophony of noises found in the downtown area.

Their oasis is located not far from Highway 66, roughly two miles northeast of the Cherokee Trading Post. It is a place named after themselves – Pugh Gardens, located at 23505 Jones Road N.W.

The gardens planted their roots across three acres around the Pugh’s forever home, which they built in 2002.

A female hummingbird lands on one of the feeders positioned on the back porch of Daniel and Ruthie’s home at Pugh Gardens. (Photo by Emily Loughridge)

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Ruthie said. “Just [being] out here – before it was even this big – I enjoyed sitting on the back patio you know.”

The campus has eight decks and many other types of seating to allow visitors to find a peaceful area to simply sit, enjoy some coffee, and take in the colorful views.

A small pond and fountain are one of the first sights people see when entering the gardens; Daniel said the fountain helps further drown out the noise of Interstate 40.

A stone walkway winds visitors around the Pugh’s home and through their hard work; As guests can find both native and exotic blooms, trees, butterflies, and birds.

If guests can tear their eyes away from the abundance of plants and take a moment to look down at the stones they walk over, they can see eight different creatures that Daniel hand-cut from various stones.

The first one made was a tortoise, then others followed, including a hummingbird, roadrunner, dragonfly, and a two-headed snake.

These walkways guide visitors through a multitude of raised garden beds that a filled to the brim – and at some points spilling out into the walkways – with flowers, plants, and trees.

Ruthie can name every plant in the area along with what creatures might enjoy it. She shared that Pugh Gardens is now an Official Monarch Way Station because the garden has at least seven different plants that attract and feed butterflies.

Daniel continued to say that the gardens are an official Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation; Pugh Gardens earned this status because they provide water, shelter, food, and a place for animals to raise their young.

Another area that delights visitors is the woodland area, mostly due to the shade it provides in the summer.

To enter this area, visitors must walk through an arch that Daniel made for Ruthie. He cut down the trees, stripped them of their bark, and put the pieces together.

A medium-sized deck awaits visitors to the right of the entrance, with various seating styles and shade.

Trees hang over the walkways in this area and different plants can be seen here – it feels more like walking through nature versus a garden. In this area, a pot with a tree was planted in honor of Ruthie’s mother, who passed in May of 2021.

The campus includes a vegetable garden and an orchid for pears, peaches, and apples; however, with the bad weather the past few years, the Pughs have let those areas grow up and shifted their focus in order to maintain the other areas of the campus.

A look back through the gardens allows visitors to see the Pugh’s back porch, as well as several different types of plants selected by Ruthie and Daniel. (Photo by Emily Loughridge)


The couple mentioned that a future project could include building a small AirBnB-style cabin on the campus to allow guests to stay for a short time and enjoy the gardens.

The campus has hosted two engagement parties and a wedding, which brought the idea of a cabin up for Daniel and Ruthie.

The cabin could also be used as an area for people to get ready for events like this. The cabin would include a murphy bed, a living room, a kitchenette, and a bathroom.

To accommodate more day guests, the couple mentioned including a permanent bathroom on the outside of the cabin as well, instead of the port-a-potty that is currently available to guests.

The garden has been opened to the public since 2020. The Pughs invite people to visit on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is $10 per adult and is free for kids under 12 years old.

Guests can also make an appointment with the Pughs to visit outside of their normal hours.

For information, visit the Pugh Gardens on Facebook or call (405)-249-8758.