Reveley Allen Moore, who headed the board of the Ladew Topiary Gardens in Harford County, died of undetermined causes Monday while vacationing near Budapest, Hungary. She was 64 and lived in Monkton.
President of the 32-member foundation board of the 250-acre garden, historic manor house and nature walk near Monkton, she was part of a core of volunteers and donors who transformed the property from an obscure, local landmark into a regional attraction.
Born in Raleigh, N.C., Reveley Allen was a 1954 graduate of Needham Broughton High School in Raleigh and earned a degree in chemistry from Hollins College in Roanoke, Va.
She became the treasurer of Ladew's executive committee in 1987, its vice president in 1993 and its president in 1999. Harvey Ladew, a New York-born fox hunter, bon vivant, world traveler and topiary gardener, bought the property in 1929. He died in 1976.
"Reveley was a Southern woman with a Southerner accent, which she never lost for all the years she's lived in Maryland," said Emily Wehr Emerick, Ladew's director. "She was smart and thoughtful - and she had quite a vision for Ladew. She was very committed to the goal of long-range planning. She thought about the future of the gardens, the house - and how to keep Harvey Ladew's creation open and available to people."
"She was an extremely important part of Ladew," said Martha Robbins, a friend and fellow trustee. "It was evident in decisions she made she wanted preserve the flavor of Mr. Ladew, the way he had it."
"She was a gentle soul with an underlying, resolute strength," said Karen Babcock, Ladew's associate director. "She had an eye for 10 years down the road, what the garden was going to mean to people in 2012. She always looked to the future, not the past. She was a good, true leader who was available to the staff. She was a good listener."
An avid horticulturist, Mrs. Moore was a past president of the Amateur Gardeners' Club and was incoming vice chairman of the Garden Club of America's Zone Six, a district that encompasses Maryland and Washington.
She maintained a garden at her home, where she cultivated native plants of the Middle Atlantic region. She was remembered last week for welcoming guests to her flower beds. If they displayed enthusiasm for a particular perennial, she would take a shovel and dig up a root to share her work. Friends said she often had Freddie, a pet spaniel, at her side.
"She was a gracious hostess at informal gatherings for her Ladew friends," said Nancy Boyce, a fellow trustee. "She had such lovely taste and a beautiful house. She conducted meetings so flawlessly, in a soft-spoken voice. She kept the agenda on target. She had a good mind - and good mind for figures, too."
Services will be held at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at St. James Episcopal Church, 3100 Monkton Road, Monkton, where she was a member.
Mrs. Moore is survived by her husband of 43 years, Richard A. Moore; a son, Thomas Reveley Moore of Monkton; a brother, Arch T. Allen III of Raleigh, N.C.; and a grandaughter. A daughter, Susan Tucker Moore, died in 1984.