Yates was founded by Arthur Yates, an Englishman who migrated to New Zealand in 1879 to escape the damp weather of his native Manchester. The seed business that Arthur opened in Auckland in 1883 was the beginning of what was to become one of the most recognised names in Australian and New Zealand gardening.
In 1886 Arthur visited Sydney, where he saw an opportunity to establish a similar enterprise. So in 1887 he left his brother, Ernest, to manage the New Zealand seed business and opened a branch in Sussex St, Sydney. In 1906 the two brothers came to an amicable agreement to separate the two companies and run them independently either side of the Tasman. This continued until the late 1980s when the two companies joined together again.
By 1893 Arthur had launched his seed packets for home gardeners. He prided himself on always selling the best quality seeds and ‘Yates Reliable Seeds’ became the company’s catchcry. As time passed Yates became more and more an integral part of the garden, selling a range of products that included fertilisers, sprays, pots, potting mix and tools as well as seeds. In 1895 Arthur saw the need for a publication that answered gardeners’ questions so he wrote the first Yates Garden Guide, a basic gardening book that is still published more than 137 years later.
We love gardens, whether its pot or pasture, balcony or backyard, we love them all.
We love the first strawberry, fresh cut lawns, straight cut hedges, ladybugs and butterflies.
We love dirty hands, the smell of manure, kinked hoses and thorny roses.
We love the planting, pruning, weeding, watering, feeding and the fulfilment.
We love seeing something grow from nothing.
we believe the garden is a magical place.
At Yates we want to be there with you as you create a space that makes your world a better place.
We love the gardening journey, we are there to inspire, inform, encourage and provide a helping hand.
we love the problems, we love the solutions.
we believe you grow so much more than a garden.
We believe that a garden brings you happiness, that its good for the heart, spirit and soul.
Yates has established itself as an integral part of Australian and New Zealand gardening history, but much of the company’s success rests on its ability to adapt to changes in lifestyle and to continue meeting the needs of gardeners in each new generation. We are a team of passionate gardeners that are dedicated to helping everyone discover the joy of gardening and seeing success in their back (or front) yard. We want to help you grow so much more than a garden.
Feature Video: Yates Celebrates 125 years
Yates History Timeline
|1879||Arthur Yates emigrated from United Kingdom to New Zealand|
|1883||Founded New Zealand company|
|1887||Started Australian branch, Hay Street, Sydney|
|1891||Had over 1000 Australian accounts|
|1895||Wrote Yates Garden Guide|
|1900||Purchased ‘Invergowrie’, Exeter, as farm and trial grounds|
|1906||New Zealand and Australian companies separated|
|1908||Introduced early flowering sweet peas|
|1916||Founded Tasmanian seed farms|
|1926||Death of Arthur Yates. Eldest son Harold became Managing Director|
|1940||Dig for victory|
|1953||Phillip Yates became Managing Director|
|1957||Launch of Yates chemical range|
|1961||Acquired Gro-Plus from John Darling & Co|
|1963||Introduced Yates bulbs|
|1964||Introduced Thrive. P.B. Yates became Managing Director|
|1969||Purchased Samuel Yates UK|
|1985||Yates acquired by Cheetham Limited (which already owned Hortico)|
|1987||Cheetham acquired by Acmex (IEL subsidiary). Yates & Hortico operations merged|
|1989||Yates New Zealand acquired following Equiticorp receivership|
|1990||Adelaide Steamship Company (Adsteam) acquires IEL|
|1993||IEL successfully floated Yates on Australian Stock Exchange as part of controlled sale of all Adsteam assets|
|1994||Acquired Zero from Reckitt & Colman|
|1995||Acquired Dynamic Lifter from Jennings Family|
|1996||Sold Samuel Yates Ltd (UK) to Sakata Seed Europe|
|1997||Formed joint venture in vegetable seed with Seminis Vegetable Seeds Inc|
|1998||Established Yates Garden Care. Acquired Watkins NZ and Dynamic Lifter factory in Pakenham.|
|1999||Acquired Burbank Biotechnology and Forbio Plants to establish Yates Botanicals|
|2001||Scheme of Arrangement with Norgard Clohessy Equity Limited. NCE changed its name to Yates Limited.|
|2002||Sale of Yates Botanicals, YGC|
|2003||Sale of YVS|
|2003||Yates Limited sold Yates Australia & New Zealand to Orica Australia Pty Ltd|
|2008||Yates celebrates its 125th birthday in New Zealand|
|2010||Orica demerges Consumer Product Division (which includes Yates). The renamed DuluxGroup becomes a stand-alone company|
|2012||Yates celebrates its 125th birthday in Australia|
|2014||Yates celebrates Thrive’s 50th Birthday|
|2014||Wins ‘Most Trusted Brand’in Garden Care at Readers Digest Awards.||
|Wins ‘Most Trusted Brand’in Garden Care at Readers Digest Awards.|
|2016||Munn’s Lawn Care joins the Yates family|
|2016||Yates introduces ‘Grow so much more than a garden’|
|2016||Wins ‘Most Trusted Brand’in Garden Care at Readers Digest Awards third year running.|