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Filoli Estate opens the 2007 season with camellias and tea ceremonies

Filoli Estate in Woodside has scheduled "Camellia Treasures - From Tea to Trees" through Saturday. This is the first in a series of events and educational forums planned for the 2007 season at Filoli.

During the weeklong celebration, visitors can take docent-led tours through the garden and attend planting, pruning and floral design demonstrations.

"This event provides the public a wonderful opportunity to discover the beauty and versatility of camellias through a series of informative programs and tours," said Education Program Administrator Cathy Rampley.

To complement the camellia events, Chanoyu, the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, will be presented hourly Friday and Saturday in the kitchen of the main mansion.

"This provides a rare opportunity to learn about the art and etiquette of preparing, serving and receiving tea in a room that is simply perfect for the occasion," said Curator Tom Rogers.

Events, except for the Japanese Tea Ceremony, are free for members or with a $12 paid admission to Filoli. The schedule includes:

• Camellia Tours: 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Saturday. Docent-led tours describe the history, diversity and characteristics of the various species of camellias.

• Japanese Tea Ceremonies: 2-3 p.m. Saturday. The Urasenke Foundation has scheduled Chanoyu, the traditional tea ceremony, in the grand ballroom of the main house. Advance tickets are required. Cost: $15 for members, $20 for nonmembers.

• Hourly Tea Tasting: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Sample a variety of teas, learn the differences among teas and observe the various ways to serve tea. Tastings begin at the top of every hour in the kitchen of the main house.

• Camellia Floral Design Demonstrations: 1-1:45 p.m. Thursday and Saturday. The Filoli Floral Design Committee demonstrates arrangements and compositions using a variety of camellias.

• Camellia Garden Lecture and Visual Presentation: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Friday. Barbara Tuffli, president of the American Camellia Society, will talk on the history, variety and visual beauty of camellias.

• Camellia Pruning Demonstrations: 10-10:30 a.m. today, Friday and Saturday. Filoli gardeners demonstrate how to shape camellias for optimal beauty.

• Camellia Potting and Care Demonstration: 1-1:30 p.m. today, 2-2:30 p.m. Thursday, and 10:45-11:15 a.m. Saturday. Filoli gardeners demonstrate root pruning, fertilizing and container selection.

Reservations for all programs are recommended, as space is limited. For more information or reservations, call Filoli's ticket office, 364-8300, ext. 508, or visit www.filoli.org.

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