About Us

Who we are

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Royston Petrie Seeds Pty Ltd is a family-owned wholesale supplier of seeds to nurseries, commercial growers, revegetation companies, plantations, landscaping companies, wholesalers, market gardeners, primary producers and home gardeners in Australia and overseas.

In 1976, Royston Petrie established his seed business in northwest Sydney having 30 years’ experience working with some of Australia’s seed pioneers, combined with a lifetime love of growing things. Read more 

In 2002, Royston moved the business to central western NSW, to 30 acres of farmland on the outskirts of Mudgee and a warehouse in the town’s industrial estate.

Rowena Petrie and her husband, Daniel Lewis, now run the family seed business. Like her father, Rowena has a vast knowledge of seed cultivation and supply, and is a respected name in the seed industry.

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Trees & Shrubs

Native trees and shrubs for park/gardens. A shade tree or find something to bring native birds to your garden.

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Grasses

Tall grass, short grass, native grass, blue grass, a grass to please everybody.

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Flowers

Make someone smile with home grown flowers.

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Vegetables

Grow your own clean, crisp vegetables. Yummo.

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Exotics

From far away places. Some mysterious and alluring seeds here!

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Herbs

Just about anything tastes better with herbs.

1908

Where it all began

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Royston’s grandfather fled Russia in 1908 and came to live in Redfern in inner Sydney. Australians were suspicious of foreigners and Royston’s father, Peter, found it difficult holding down a job as a “Makaroff”. At 21, Peter changed his surname to Petrie and found work in Brisbane repairing radios. Peter married and had two sons. Royston was born on 30 October 1933, and was raised by his father till his death at 35.

Collecting Native Seed

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On the weekends Royston picked native seed, riding his bicycle from Epping to Pymble to climb trees for Harry Kershaw who set up Australia’s first tree-seed supplier.

1945

Royston joins the Junior Farmers and gets a job at Anderson’s nursery

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Royston was 12 when his father died, and he and his brother were placed in the Church of England Boys Home in Carlingford, Sydney. Royston developed his interest in growing things in the Home’s large vegetable garden, and he joined the Junior Farmers at Carlingford Rural School.

Anderson’s nursery was right across the road from the Boys Home, and Royston was given a job at the nursery. At Anderson’s, Royston was responsible for wrapping strawberry plants or rooted carnation cuttings for mail orders, and for transferring pansies into waxed cardboard pots for sale in Anderson’s George St store.

1948

Royston commences at United Seed Growers

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When he left school in late-1948, Royston got a job with United Seed Growers. The government set up USG with shareholders from all the large Australian seed companies except Yates. USG grew a variety of lines in trials grounds and selected the superior lines for growing in larger acreages. USG produced seed and distributed it among the seed houses for sale to the veggie growers involved in the war effort.

Eric Rumsey was the chairman of the USG board. While he undertook crop inspections in the country, Royston grew tomatoes on five acres of land at Anderson’s nursery. Eric and Royston taste-tested the tomatoes together, a job that put Royston off tomatoes for life.

1953

Gaining new skills at Rumsey’s Seeds

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USG disbanded after the post-war recovery, and in 1953 Royston moved to Rumsey’s Seeds. Rumsey’s had a store in Parramatta and a nursery in Telopea where Royston grew-on four-inch stock and tinned bare-rooted fruit trees grown elsewhere.

1956

Learning the art of seed cleaning and seed testing

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In 1956, Royston moved to Rumsey’s seed cleaning operation. He worked on large machines that could clean a couple of tons of seed per hour and that took half a day to set up. He worked there for four years. For the next nine years, Royston worked in Rumsey’s shop in Church St Parramatta, cleaning seed and making up customer orders. He measured the orders using the seed scoops that ranged in size from a pinhead to a half-egg. Rumsey’s supplied a chart that matched the seed type and weight with the scoop.

In 1958, Royston moved with Rumsey’s to Northmead. There he supervised seed cleaning, managed the seed storage “dry room”, and processed flower and vegetable seeds. He also built on his formal education, doing a seed-testing course with the Department of Agriculture.

1965

Establishing the New World seed business with the Rumsey’s

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In 1965 Yates acquired Rumsey’s Seeds and Eric and Tony Rumsey bought nine acres and an old house in Galston and set up a new seed business called New World Seeds. Royston worked with the Rumseys setting up the new business, training staff, and establishing a seed cleaning plant. He worked six or seven days a week to help it succeed.

1976

Starting out on his own with Royston Petrie Seeds

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In 1976, Royston and his wife, Kay, decided to take the experience gained at New World to start their own business. The Rumseys gave Royston their blessing and Royston Petrie Seeds Pty Ltd was born on a little leased property in Dural.

1978

Native trees and large-scale revegetation

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The business went well and in two and half years, Royston Petrie bought five acres in Kenthurst. By now Royston Petrie Seeds was branching into more and more native trees for the revegetation market. The business supplied the seed for the redevelopment of the Port Botany container terminal, the Menai tip, and expressways right around the country.

1978

One man’s pest is another’s treasure

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Royston Petrie Seeds collected the weed, Asparagus sprengeri, from Avalon and Palm Beach and exported the seed to California. They harvested Kaffir Plum in Concord Park where it was considered a pest and exported it to Switzerland where it was a popular indoor plant. They exported eucalypt seed to South Africa for reafforestation and to Japan to feed koalas.

2002

Moving the business to Mudgee

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In 2002, Royston and Kay opted for a tree change. They sold the Kenthurst property and bought 30 acres 9km from Mudgee and a warehouse in an industrial estate in Mudgee. Royston had to adjust to the new climate with winter temperatures falling below zero. While the winters in Mudgee were cold, the summers were long and there are very few storms back then. In 2010 Daniel and Rowena expanded the production area taking on a further 70 acres with the acquisition of Augustine’s.

2007

Passing the reigns to Rowena Petrie

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Royston has shared his vast seed knowledge with his daughter Rowena and his son-in-law Daniel. Sadly, Royston passed away in September 2007 but his love of seed lives on in the next generations of this seedy family.

2017

Reuniting with the Rumsey’s

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Going full circle, in 2017, Rowena and Daniel took on the seed stock from the Rumsey’s family business, Jarit Seeds, adding pumpkin, onion and melon hybrids to the already huge range on offer.

Order Online

Satisfying your need for seed

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You can purchase seed directly from the website, or for high volume orders contact us directly for a quote. Or for help and advice on sourcing the seed that’s right for you, contact us

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Seed logistics – delivering to you

Whether you’re located in Australia or overseas, Royston Petrie Seeds can satisfy your need for seed. We are experienced in dealing with customs, quarantine, and transport logistics, and as long as regulations don’t prevent us, we can deliver to you wherever you are.

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Providing the very best in seed

At Royston Petrie, we are constantly trialling new seed lines so we can provide you with the very best seed we can. With our vast knowledge of seed cultivation, cleaning and storage and with careful monitoring and analysis we can ensure the quality of our seed.

We have been in the industry for more than 40 years because we respond to tastes and trends in fruit, vegetable and plant varieties, and maintain responsible growing practices.

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Seed from a farm not a factory

We are a regionally located business that grows, harvests and supplies clean, reliable seeds – all our lines are germination-tested and trialled. We’re unable to grow all the seed varieties that we sell, so to fill out our range (to ensure you get the seed you need) we purchase seed from like-minded suppliers with similarly responsible and reputable practices.

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Why choose Royston Petrie Seeds

There are so many reasons to choose Royston Petrie Seeds including:

• An extensive range of own-grown and imported seed
• Excellent quality control – all our seed is clean, traceable and germination tested
• Environmentally-friendly growing practices
• Great customer service from a friendly, knowledgeable team
• Curiosity for finding new species of plants and trees
• Responsive to customers needs and desires
• Capacity to support large scale plantings, such as mine sites and expressways
• Deep knowledge and long history in the seed industry

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Step 01.

Browse our extensive online seed catalogue and add your items to your cart

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Step 02.

Submit your order using our online store. Enter your delivery and payment details using our secure checkout.

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Step 03.

We will calculate the best shipping price for your order and send it to you.

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Step 04.

Receive your order direct to your door

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