Title:
Flower shipment packaging
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Flower shipment packaging includes a generally cylindrical outer container with a lid. A support for the vase of a floral arrangement is inserted at the lower portion of the inner chamber of the outer container. This support is preferably made of a plurality of flat pieces of cardboard that are slotted so they may be assembled together with eight peripheral edges engaging the inner periphery of the outer container and defining a central sub-chamber sized to snugly receive the vase. Above the vase support, a bouquet support is provided consisting of a blank cut out of a piece of cardboard and including a plurality of peripheral fins that may fold up at scoring locations to create a bouquet support and a central region that includes a plurality of radially extending slots that meet centrally to define a plurality of triangular portions that may be bent downwardly when a floral arrangement is pushed through them. The package is completed by inserting the ends of the stems of the bouquet into a foam hydration system enclosing the hydration system and the stems of the bouquet within a plastic bag and securing the sub-assembly together.



Inventors:
Keller, Jay Edward (South Hero, VT, US)
Camardo, Catherine Langrock (South Burlington, VT, US)
Straube, Kathleen (Starksboro, VT, US)
Forleo, Kathryn Shannon (Essex Junction, VT, US)
Application Number:
11/589744
Publication Date:
05/01/2008
Filing Date:
10/31/2006
Assignee:
CALYX & COROLLA, INC.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/50
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
CHU, KING M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
H. JAY SPIEGEL - H. JAY SPIEGEL & ASSOCIATES (P.O. BOX 11, MOUNT VERNON, VA, 22121, US)
Claims:
1. A package for shipping an arrangement of flowers, comprising: a) an outer container defining an inner chamber; b) a vase support removably received within said inner chamber and spacing a vase from inner walls of said inner chamber; and c) a bouquet support removably received within said inner chamber above said vase support, said bouquet support including a central opening expandable when stems of a bouquet are pushed therethrough.

2. The package of claim 1, wherein said outer container is cylindrical.

3. The package of claim 2, wherein said outer container includes a removable lid closing an upper opening thereof.

4. The package of claim 1, wherein said outer container includes a removable lid closing an upper opening thereof.

5. The package of claim 1, wherein said vase support defines a sub-chamber within said inner chamber sized to snugly receive a vase.

6. The package of claim 5, wherein said vase support is made of four rectangular pieces of cardboard.

7. The package of claim 6, wherein said pieces of cardboard are identical.

8. The package of claim 7, wherein each piece of cardboard comprises a rectangle having two slots therein, each slot extending part-way from one side toward another side thereof.

9. The package of claim 8, wherein said vase support, as assembled, comprises first and second parallel rectangular pieces and third and fourth rectangular pieces parallel to one another and perpendicular to said first and second pieces.

10. The package of claim 1, wherein said bouquet support comprises a cardboard blank with a central region surrounded by a plurality of peripheral fins foldable to create a sub-enclosure surrounding a bouquet placed therein.

11. The package of claim 10, wherein said fins are foldable at scored portions of said bouquet support.

12. The package of claim 10, wherein two opposed said fins include integral gripping handles to facilitate grasping of said bouquet support.

13. The package of claim 10, wherein said central opening of said bouquet support is defined by a plurality of circumferentially disposed bendable portions having distal ends defining an opening therebetween.

14. The package of claim 13, wherein each bendable portion is attached to said central region at a proximal end thereof and is bendable about said proximal end.

15. The package of claim 14, wherein each bendable portion is generally triangular, said distal end of each bendable portion being substantially pointed, said pointed distal ends of said bendable portions defining, therebetween, said central opening, said central opening expanding in size as said bendable portions are bent about their proximal ends.

16. A package for shipping an arrangement of flowers, comprising: a) an outer cylindrical container defining an inner chamber and including a removable lid; b) a vase support removably received within said inner chamber and including a sub-chamber spacing a vase snugly received therein from inner walls of said inner chamber; and c) a bouquet support removably received within said inner chamber above said vase support, said bouquet support including a central opening defined by a plurality of circumferentially disposed bendable portions having distal ends defining an opening therebetween, each bendable portion being attached to a central region of said bouquet support at a proximal end thereof and being bendable about said proximal end, whereby said central opening is expandable when stems of a bouquet are pushed therethrough.

17. The package of claim 16, wherein said vase support is made of four identical rectangular pieces of cardboard, each piece of cardboard comprising a rectangle having two slots therein, each slot extending part-way from one side toward another side thereof.

18. The package of claim 17, wherein said vase support, as assembled, comprises first and second parallel rectangular pieces and third and fourth rectangular pieces parallel to one another and perpendicular to said first and second pieces.

19. The package of claim 16, wherein said bouquet support comprises a cardboard blank with said central region surrounded by a plurality of peripheral fins foldable at scored portions to create a sub-enclosure surrounding a bouquet placed therein, two opposed ones of said fins including integral gripping handles to facilitate grasping of said bouquet support.

20. The package of claim 16, wherein each bendable portion is generally triangular, said distal end of each bendable portion being substantially pointed, said pointed distal ends of said bendable portions defining, therebetween, said central opening, said central opening expanding in size as said bendable portions are bent about their proximal ends.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to flower shipment packaging. With the increased popularity of a global computer system known as the Internet, sales and delivery of flowers and floral arrangements have taken on new dimensions. Whereas in past years, the only options for floral delivery were either visiting your local florist shop or using a telephone-based remote ordering system such as those known by the Trademarks “FTD” and “TELEFLORA.” In such telephone-based ordering systems, a florist in the locality of the recipient is contacted and delivers the flowers locally on behalf of a florist shop near the person ordering the delivery.

Now, Internet websites offer all manner of delivery services for flowers and floral arrangements. As this has occurred, it has become a more common occurrence for flowers to be delivered to their eventual recipient from an extremely long distance. Thus, it is quite common for flowers to be delivered, for example, somewhere in the East coast of the United States from a source located in California. When this occurs, the arrangement is prepared in California, suitably packaged and sent via airplane to the locality where it is to be delivered.

Delivery of floral arrangements from such a long distance creates problems and issues that did not exist during the popular realm of “FTD” and “TELEFLORA.” In the “FTD” or “TELEFLORA” situation, the local florist taking care of the order loads the floral arrangement into their delivery vehicle and hand delivers the arrangement to the recipient. By contrast, under the new scenario, delivery of the arrangement is by common carrier such as, for example, United Parcel Service (UPS) or Federal Express. Thus, the manner of delivery by such common carriers is simply receiving a box from a remote location, loading it into a local delivery truck, and delivering the box to the recipient without much regard for its contents.

As such, a need has developed for a packaging structure specifically designed to facilitate packaging of a floral arrangement, maintaining it alive, and maintaining it in an aesthetically pleasing appearance from the time it is shipped to the time it is delivered. It is with these issues in mind that the present invention was developed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to flower shipment packaging. The present invention includes the following interrelated objects, aspects and features:

(1) In a first aspect, the preferred packaging for the present invention includes a generally cylindrical outer container somewhat similar to a hat box including a generally flat bottom and a cylindrical side wall with inner walls defining an inner chamber, and a lid having a flat top and a short peripheral cylindrical wall.

(2) A support for the vase of a floral arrangement is provided to be inserted at the lower portion of the inner chamber of the outer container. This support is preferably made of a plurality of flat pieces of cardboard that are slotted so they may be assembled together with eight peripheral edges engaging the inner periphery of the outer container and defining a central sub-chamber sized to snugly receive the vase.

(3) Above the vase support, a bouquet support is provided. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the bouquet support consists of a blank cut out of a piece of cardboard and including a plurality of peripheral fins surrounding a central region that may fold up at scoring locations to create a sub-enclosure providing bouquet support and the central region including a plurality of inwardly radially extending slots that meet centrally to define a plurality of triangular portions that may be bent downwardly when a floral arrangement is pushed therethrough. For some bouquets, it has been found to be advantageous to fold the peripheral fins in a manner such that every other fin is folded upward and the remaining fins between adjacent pairs of upwardly folded fins are folded downward.

(4) The triangular portions serve two separate purposes. First, once the stems of a floral arrangement have been pushed through the central location, thereby bending the triangular portions downwardly and expanding the central opening, the inherent resiliency of the material from which the bouquet support is made causes the distal tips of the triangular portions to be biased toward one another to thereby preclude the stems of the flowers of the bouquet from backing out of the opening in the middle of the triangular portions. Second, the action of the triangular portions engaging the peripheries of the stems of the bouquet acts to support the bouquet in an upright configuration. If desired, the bouquet support may have built-in handles facilitating grasping of the handles by the recipient to lift the bouquet out of the shipping container.

(5) As will be explained in greater detail hereinafter, the package is completed by inserting the ends of the stems of the bouquet into a foam hydration system enclosing the hydration system and the stems of the bouquet within a plastic bag and securing the sub-assembly together with means such as, for example, rubber bands. In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the hydration system may be a product sold under the Trademark “ARRIVE ALIVE.”

(6) In practicing the present invention, a bouquet is first created, preferably with a shoot of bamboo arranged vertically at the center and its stems are then inserted into a hydration system, the hydration system is placed within a plastic bag, and the plastic bag is secured about the hydration system with fastening means such as, for example, rubber bands.

(7) The sub-assembly with the plastic bag hydration system and bouquet is then inserted through the central opening between the triangular portions of the bouquet support and into a vase. As explained above, the distal tips of the triangular portions of the bouquet support engage the periphery of the stems and plastic bag and hold the sub-assembly in place.

(8) Next, the vase support is assembled with the four generally rectangular slotted pieces of cardboard to form a structure that, on end, appears to resemble a “tic-tac-toe” board including a central rectangular opening and eight peripheral rectangular areas. The central rectangular opening helps to define the bouquet supporting sub-chamber described above sized and configured to snugly receive the vase. Once the vase support has been assembled, it is inserted within the enclosure preferably consisting of a cylindrical container. The bouquet support with the bouquet hydration system and plastic bag assembled together is lowered with the vase entering the bouquet support.

(9) Thereafter, the lid is placed on top of the box and, in the preferred embodiment, the box is placed within a snug-fitting shipping box and is ready to receive a shipping label and to be shipped by common carrier.

Accordingly, it is a first object of the present invention to provide flower shipment packaging.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide such a packaging system in which floral arrangements and bouquets may safely and effectively be shipped long distances via common carrier.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide such packaging in which a vase support is assembled to snugly hold a vase, and a bouquet support is placed thereover to safely support a bouquet or floral arrangement.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide such packaging in which an outer container resembling a hat box contains the vase support, bouquet support, and the vase and bouquet.

These and other objects, aspects and features of the present invention will be better understood from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment when read in conjunction with the appended drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an exploded view partially in perspective of the component parts of the inventive packaging.

FIG. 2 shows a top view of the vase support as assembled together and located within the outer container.

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of the outer container with its lid installed.

FIG. 4 shows an exploded perspective view describing a preferred sequence of assembly of the inventive packaging with a bouquet.

FIG. 5 shows further details concerning assembly of the invention packaging together.

FIG. 6 shows a schematic representation of the packaging as assembled with a bouquet and contained within the outer container.

SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference, first, to FIG. 6, the present invention is generally designated by the reference numeral 10 and is seen to include a generally cylindrical outer container 11 defining an inner chamber 13.

With reference to FIG. 1, the outer container 111 includes a lid 15 designed to cover the opening 17 in the container 11.

With further reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, in particular, a vase support 20 is made up of four preferably cardboard pieces 21, 23, 25 and 27, each of which has a pair of slots 29 extending about half-way across each piece as shown in FIG. 1. These pieces are assembled together to create the vase support 20, seen in FIG. 1, and which is received within the chamber 13 of the container 11 as also seen in FIG. 2. As best understood from FIG. 2, the vase support 20 defines a sub-chamber 30 sized and configured to snugly receive a vase 31 (FIG. 5).

With reference back to FIG. 1, a bouquet support 40 is preferably made up of a blank cut out of a pierce of cardboard or other paper product and includes a plurality of fins 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47 and 48. As seen in FIG. 1, the fins 43 and 47 include integrally formed handle portions 51 and 53 for a purpose to be described in greater detail hereinafter.

The bouquet support 40 includes an octagonal central portion or region 55 including a central area 57 made up of a plurality of triangular portions 59, each of which is attached at its radially outer periphery or proximal end at the central region 55, and has converging side walls meeting at a distal point, for example, the side walls 61 and 63 that separate each fin 59 from adjacent fins. A small central opening 65 is provided in the midst of the fins 59.

As should be understood from FIG. 1 and FIG. 4, when an object is pushed through the fins 59, they pivot in the direction of movement of the object about their peripheral proximal edges, thereby enlarging the opening 65 to allow an object to be pushed past the fins 59. They are inherently, resiliently biased to the position shown in FIG. 1 and, as such, the pointed distal ends thereof continue to engage the periphery of the object pushed therethrough.

With reference to FIG. 4, it should be understood that a bouquet 70 includes a multiplicity of stems 71 and a shoot of bamboo. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the stems 71 are inserted within a water pack or hydration system 73. An example of such a hydration system is that which is sold under the Trademark “ARRIVE ALIVE.” Once the stems 71 are so inserted within the hydration system 73, the hydration system 73 is placed within a plastic bag 75, and rubber bands 77 are secured about the periphery of the plastic bag to hold the assembly together. This assembly is forced through the opening 65 in the bouquet support 40 with the fins 59 pivoting downwardly as explained above until the assembly assumes the position shown in the drawing identified by the reference numeral 80 in FIG. 4.

In order to achieve the orientation of the configuration 80, with reference back to FIG. 1, the fins 41-48 are folded upwardly as shown in the drawing identified by the reference numeral 52, with the handles 51 and 53 facing one another as shown therein. In that configuration, with the bouquet hydration system, plastic bag and rubber bands assembled to the bouquet support 40 as shown in the drawing labeled “80” in FIG. 4, the entire assembly may be placed within the outer container 11 as generally shown in FIGS. 1 and 6. Once this has occurred, the lid 15 may be placed over the opening 17 in the outer container 11 to enclose the bouquet as packaged.

In an alternative configuration, for some bouquet configurations, it has been found to be advantageous to configure the fins 41-48 with alternating fins bent upwardly and the remaining fins bent downwardly. If this alternative is employed, the fins 43 and 47 carrying the handles 51 and 53, respectively, are among the fins bent upwardly.

Thereafter, the outer container 11 is placed within a snug-fitting shipping container (not shown) and a shipping label may be affixed to the shipping container, and it may be shipped by common carrier to the recipient.

When the shipping container is received by the recipient, it is opened and the outer container 11 is removed. Thereafter, the lid 15 may be removed, the handles 51 and 53 grasped, and the bouquet 70 hydration system 73, plastic container 75 and vase 31 lifted out of the container. The bouquet support 40 may be pushed downwardly to remove it from the hydration system and plastic bag, whereupon the rubber bands may be removed, the plastic bag may be removed and discarded with the rubber bands, and the hydration system with the arrangement attached thereto may be reinserted into the vase 31 and the arrangement may suitably be displayed.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the vase support and bouquet support may be made of heavy-duty corrugated cardboard. The outer container 11 and its lid 15 may be made of any suitable fancy paper material such as might be used in manufacturing a hat box. Any other materials suitable for making such devices may suitably be employed.

As such, an invention has been disclosed in terms of a preferred embodiment thereof which fulfills each and every one of the objects of the invention as set forth hereinabove, and provides a new and useful flower shipment packaging of great novelty and utility.

Of course, various changes, modifications and alterations in the teachings of the present invention may be contemplated by those skilled in the art without departing from the intended spirit and scope thereof.

As such, it is intended that the present invention only be limited by the terms of the appended claims.