Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Olive Percival  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1869 in Sheffield, Illinois

-- Olive Percival on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Percival was born in a log cabin on her family’s farm near Sheffield, Illinois. Her father died when she was ten. In 1887, she moved to Los Angeles with her mother and sister.

Biographical and Professional Information

Percival began writing for publication in 1896 and sold her first poem and first article just before her 28th birthday. She was a multitalented writer, photographer, gardener, artist, and bibliophile who lived in the Arroyo Seco artists' enclave near Los Angeles. She was the author of several books on gardening and garden lore. She was also a regular contributitor to the ''Los Angeles Times'', writing articles on subjects ranging from women’s suffrage to gardening. After the Los Angeles Times bombing in 1910, she penned an article titled ''Would Woman's Vote Suppress Anarchy'', which appeared in the October 16, 1910 issue.The Huntington Library in California owns Percival's diaries, more than 700 of her photographs, and three book manuscripts.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Our Old-Fashioned Flowers by Olive Percival
ISBN: B0026R94E8

Pasedena Humane Society, Printed at the Ward Ritchie Press. 1947

Flowers and herbs and their English old fashioned names or latin names, plus a bibliography of books about old fashioned flowers Edition Limited To 1000 Copies

Yellowing Ivy

The Ward Ritchie Press. 1946

Leaf-Shadows and Rose-Drift: Being Little Songs from a Los Angeles Garden (First Edition)

The Riverside Press, Cambridge. 1911

The Children’s Garden Book (The Huntington Library Garden Series)
ISBN: 0873282108

Huntington Library Press. 2005

A gardener "ought to have a little make-believe," the Southern California garden maven Olive Percival mused more than eighty years ago. Inspired by this principle, she devised plans for whimsical gardens that could be created by children and adults alike. Her delightful schemes included "The Garden of Aladdin," an enchanted, sunken orchard fragrant with kumquat, persimmon, and orange trees "The Fairy Ring," a blue fairyland of forget-me-nots, larkspur, and borage and "The Sliced Cake," a round, pink-and-white garden divided into wedges—the perfect setting for afternoon tea.

Percival's charming illustrations and instructions for fifteen fanciful children's gardens, all selected from her unpublished manuscript in the Huntington Library, are reproduced for the first time in this volume, designed in keeping with her own arts and crafts aesthetic. Described by Percival as "a potpourri of flowery facts and garden lore," The Children's Garden Book shows children that the pleasures of one's own garden may be achieved through planning, patience, dedication, and imagination.