Title:
Floating planter for plants and fish
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A decorative floating planter simulating an island with recesses for above-water pot holders and a floating underside support from which hangers for a pot for an oxygenating underwater plant and a protective netting for surrounding the underwater plant is hung. The upper pot holders allow for seasonal changing of the plants by replacing the pots in their cavities. The pots may have either closed bottoms or bottoms with centrally located holes. The island may have passageways downward through the island structure to open into the water, allowing roots to reach the water. Cavities are formed in the island which function as “Frog Huts” for amphibious creatures. The floating planter is made of a closed cell plastic foam decorated with signs, moss, and other structures shaped and colored to simulate an island paradise.



Inventors:
Bulk, Peter (Freehold, NJ, US)
Application Number:
10/318162
Publication Date:
11/13/2003
Filing Date:
12/13/2002
Assignee:
BULK PETER
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A01G9/02; A01K63/00; (IPC1-7): A47G7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GELLNER, JEFFREY L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A decorative floating planter for use in a pond or other comprising; a buoyant floating simulated island having a generally arcuate top surface and a generally flat bottom surface; said floating island defining at least one recess within said top surface of a predetermined size and so configured as to receive a plant pot for a decorative plant for display; and said simulated island having the appearance of a tropical island; whereby plant pots of the-same size having different seasonal plants therein may be periodically exchanged by removing the plant pots existing in said at least one recess and substituting replacement plant pots having different plants therein.

2. The floating planter of claim 1, said island defining a large, single recess generally centrally located in said island for receiving a large pot.

3. The floating planter of claim 2, said island defining at least two small recesses spaced from said large recess located in said island for receiving small pots.

4. The floating planter of claim 2, said island further defining at least one recess so sized and located as to serve as a shelter for an amphibious animal, whereby frogs and newts may occupy said shelters.

5. The floating planter of claim 4, said island further comprising a readable sign near each of said shelter recesses indicating its function as a shelter.

6. The floating planter of claim 1, said upper surface of said island comprising a plurality of painted nodules and simulated moss so placed and configured as to simulate a natural island.

7. The floating planter of claim 1, wherein said island is constructed of a closed cell plastic foam.

8. The floating planter of claim 1, wherein said island defines passageways therethrough from at least one of said recesses to said underside whereby the roots of a plant within a pot placed therein having a central hole through its base wall is free to grow downward through said passageway to enter the water of the pond.

9. The floating planter of claim 1, further comprising: a frame attached to said island bottom surface and generally conforming to the peripheral dimensions thereof; an underwater pot for holding an underwater oxygenating plant; and a plurality of hangers suspending said underwater pot from said frame; whereby said oxygenating plant provides cover for fish while oxygenating the pond water.

10. The floating planter of claim 9, wherein said frame is rectangular and is constructed of plastic pipe and fittings so as to be buoyant when assembled.

11. The floating planter of claim 10, further comprising a generally tubular net having an upper opening and a lower opening, said net being attached around said upper frame and depending downward therefrom, whereby said net surrounds said underwater pot and oxygenating plant.

12. The floating planter of claim 11, wherein said net has an upper sleeve surrounding said pipe of said frame so as to exclude large fish from entering the net.

13. The floating planter of claim 12, said net comprising a draw string at its lower opening for opening and closing said lower opening whereby access is provided to said underwater pot when open and stabilizing weight is supported within said net when closed.

14. A decorative floating planter for use in a pond or other comprising; a buoyant floating simulated tropical island having a generally arcuate top surface and a generally flat bottom surface; said floating island defining at least one centrally located recess within said top surface of a predetermined size and so configured as to receive a large plant pot for a decorative plant for display; said floating island defining at least two small recesses spaced from said large recess located in said island for receiving small pots; said floating island defining at least one recess so sized and located as to serve as a shelter for an amphibious animal, whereby frogs and newts may occupy said shelters; a frame attached to said island bottom surface and generally conforming to the peripheral dimensions thereof; an underwater pot for holding an underwater oxygenating plant; and a plurality of hangers suspending said underwater pot from said frame; said frame being rectangular and constructed of pipe segments and fittings so as to be buoyant when assembled; a generally tubular net having an upper opening and a lower opening, said net being attached around said upper frame and depending downward therefrom, whereby said net surrounds said underwater pot; and said net comprising a draw string at its lower opening for opening and closing said lower opening whereby access is provided to said underwater pot when open and stabilizing weight is supported within said net when closed; whereby said oxygenating plant provides cover for fish while oxygenating the pond water; and whereby plant pots of the same size having different seasonal plants therein may be periodically exchanged by removing the plant pots existing in said at least one recess and substituting replacement plant pots having different plants therefor.

15. The floating planter of claim 14, wherein said island is constructed of a closed cell plastic foam.

16. The floating planter of claim 15, wherein said island defines passageways therethrough from at least one of said recesses to said underside whereby the roots of a plant within a pot placed therein having a central hole through its base wall is free to grow downward through said passageway to enter the water of the pond.

17. The floating planter of claim 14, wherein said pipe segments and fittings are plastic.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/378,659, filed May 9, 2002.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to planters. More particularly, the present invention relates to decorative planters for use in a pond.

[0004] 2. Description of Related Art

[0005] Decorative planters for a garden scape are common. It is also common to have water features such as fountains and ponds. Some ponds have fish kept therein for decorative purposes or, in larger ponds for fishing. Fixed decorative planters are commonly used around the pond or on islands in the pond. The landscaping effort and cost are significant to build such a garden scape. It would be desirable to provide a decorative floating island which has facilities for displaying live plants thereon and which can be retrieved for plant replacement. It would also be desirable if that floating island provided cover for small breed and recently hatched fish to protect them from being eaten by mature fish until they reach a larger size. It would further be desirable if that floating island included water-oxygenating plants which may serve as cover for fish. It would also be desirable if the floating island had a natural appearance with simulated rocks, moss, and recesses for amphibians such as frogs and newts.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 5,836,108, issued Nov. 17, 1998, to Scheuer, describes a floating planter box with stabilizing means and a suspended anchoring device. The planter box holds soil for planting.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 6,086,755, issued Jul. 11, 2000, to Tepper, describes a floating biofiltration system where netting is secured to the bottom of the floating structure to contain both the filtration plant and the fish that will feed off it.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 2,670,571, issued Mar. 2, 1954, to Waldron, describes a plant growing structure wherein the plants used in the structure are interchangeable.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 5,269,094, issued Dec. 14, 1993, to Wolverton et al., also describes a plant growing structure wherein the plants used in the structure are interchangeable and has the function of water purification.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 4,487,588, issued Dec. 11, 1984, to Lewis, III, et al., describes a hanging netted structure for holding pots of aquatic plants to be cultivated.

[0011] Japanese Patent No JP6,178,626, Published Jun. 28, 1994, and granted to Hayamizu Kazuhiko, describes a moored raft on water having vegetating terrestrial plants, locating the upper parts of the roots in a space between the base of the raft and the water surface and immersing the lower parts of the roots in water, whereby cultivation takes place.

[0012] None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] The present invention is a decorative floating planter simulating an island with recesses for above-water pot holders and a floating underside support from which hangers for a pot for an oxygenating underwater plant and a protective netting for surrounding the underwater plant are hung. The upper pot holders allow for seasonal changing of the plants by replacing the pots in their cavities. The pots may have either closed bottoms or bottoms with centrally located holes. The island may have passageways downward through the island structure to open into the water, allowing roots from plants in pots with bottom holes to reach into the water. Cavities are formed in the island which function as “Frog Huts” for amphibious creatures.

[0014] The floating planter is made of a closed cell plastic foam and can be decorated with signs moss, and other structures shaped and colored to simulate an island paradise. There is a lower structure secured to the underside of the floating planter which adds stability to the upper island and for optionally suspending an oxygenating plant and for providing a haven for newly hatched fish. The lower structure has a rectangular support made of plastic pipe which serves as additional floatation. A closed netting is suspended from the rectangular support and surrounds the pot and oxygenating plant so as to keep larger fish from its interior. The plant pot is suspended from the rectangular support by hangers. The netting has a drawstring at its lowest point to allow access to the pot. A weight such as a rock is placed within the netting area for added stability and the draw string pulled tight to close the netting during use.

[0015] Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a floating decorative planter for displaying seasonal decorative plants in a water or pond setting.

[0016] It is another object of the invention to provide a decorative planter as above which resembles an island.

[0017] It is a further object of the invention to provide a decorative planter as above which has simulated moss, natural coloring, and provides recessed areas for amphibious creatures such as frogs.

[0018] Still another object of the invention is to provide a decorative planter as above having an understructure giving additional floatation to the floating island and supporting an oxygenating plant and pot.

[0019] Yet another object of the invention is to provide a decorative planter as above having a suspended netting surrounding the oxygenating plant to protect fish hatchlings from larger fish while the plant provides cover for the hatchlings.

[0020] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in an apparatus for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

[0021] These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0022] FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a floating planter for plants and fish according to the present invention as viewed above a pond surface.

[0023] FIG. 2A is a section view drawn along lines 2A-2A of FIG. 1.

[0024] FIG. 2B is a detail view of a “Frog Hut” and sign of the inventive floating planter of FIG. 1.

[0025] FIG. 2C is an elevation view of the inventive floating planter of FIG. 1.

[0026] FIG. 2D is a section view similar to that of FIG. 2A with the plant pots exploded outward from their recesses in the floating planter.

[0027] FIG. 3 is an elevation view of the floating planter of FIG. 1 with a floating understructure suspending a pot for an oxygenating plant and a surrounding protective netting.

[0028] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the understructure of FIG. 3 as attached to the floating planter(shown in phantom lines).

[0029] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0030] The primary purpose of the invention is to provide a floating planter for the display of tropical and annual flowering plants in water gardens and fish ponds. Additionally, the planter provides shelter for amphibians, shade for the pond, and attractive breeding environment for fish and a safe haven for new hatchlings.

[0031] The present invention is a decorative floating planter simulating a floating tropical island with recesses for above-water pot holders and a floating underside support from which hangers for a pot for an oxygenating underwater plant and a protective netting for surrounding the underwater plant depend. The upper pot holders allow for seasonal changing of the plants by replacing the pots in their cavities. The pots may have either closed bottoms or bottoms with centrally located holes. The island may have passageways downward through the island structure to open into the water, allowing roots from plants in pots with bottom holes to reach into the water. Cavities are formed in the island which function as “Frog Huts” for amphibious creatures. The floating planter is made of a closed cell plastic foam and can be decorated with signs, moss, and other structures shaped and colored to simulate an island paradise. The oxygenating plant acts as cover for fish hatchlings while the netting excludes larger fish.

[0032] Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown an environmental perspective view of the floating planter of the present invention. Floating island planter 10 displays potted flowering plants FP and floats in pond P and includes a closed cell plastic foam island 12 having surface nodules 14 which are painted and decorated with simulated moss M to resemble an island paradise. The island 12 has cavities 16 (frog huts) to serve as a home for amphibious animals such as frog F and newts. A large pot receiver 18 (see FIG. 2A) is a recess in the upper central portion of the island 12 and serves as a receptor for a large pot 20. Smaller pot receivers 22 (see FIG. 2A) are recesses distributed around and spaced from the large pot receiver 18 and serve a receptors for small pots 24. The large and small pots contain seasonal plants which may be replaced by removing their pots from their respective pot recesses and replacing them with pots having a new seasonal plant planted therein.

[0033] Referring to FIGS. 2A-2D, there is shown a section view of the island, a detail view of a “Frog Hut” and sign, an elevation view, and a section view similar to that of FIG. 2A with the plant pots exploded outward from their recesses in the floating island planter. The island 12 has an upper exposed surface 26 decorated to resemble a tropical island and an island underside 28 upon which the island floats. The pots 20 and 24 may have solid bottoms, which contain all plant roots, or they may have centrally located openings allowing plant roots to grow through as seen in FIG. 2A. The island 12 may have respective root passages 19 and 23 for large pot 20 and small pots 24 corresponding to the bottom openings to allow the plant roots to grow downward into the water. Recesses 16 in the island upper surface 26 may act as cover for amphibians such as frog F, and signs S are placed nearby.

[0034] Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, island 12 is attached to pipe frame 32 generally along the periphery of its bottom side 28. Pipe frame 32 is rectangular in shape and comprises pipe segments 34 attached at four corners by pipe elbow fittings 36. Pipe frame 32 is preferably plastic pipe which, when assembled, is buoyant. Pipe frame 32 provides stability to island 12 and is attached to island 12 by ties 38 fastening around pipe frame pipe segments 32 and through tie fastening bores 39 through the outer periphery of the underside 28 of island 12. The ties may be common zip ties.

[0035] Net 40 is tubular and generally cylindrical or conical in shape, having an upper opening and a lower opening and is supported at its upper opening by net upper sleeve 42 surrounding pipe frame 32. Net 40 may be installed on pipe frame 32 during its assembly or sewn over the pipe frame. Net 44 depends from pipe frame 32 and descends to a lower-end 44 having draw string 46 for closing off the net at the lower-end 44. A weight 48, such as a stone, is placed within net 40 before closing tie string 46, to stabilize the island and maintain the shape of net 40 or anchor the island if the net reaches the bottom of the pond. A submerged pot 50 is suspended from pipe frame 32 by hangers 52 having hooks 54 to engage the pipe frame 32. The pot 50 is suspended within the net 40 and supports the growth of an oxygenating aquatic plant A. The plant A helps oxygenate the water and serves as cover for fish spawning and the resulting hatchlings H. The net keeps the plant in an enclosed mass, resulting in the desired fish cover. The draw string allows for opening of the net for access to the oxygenating plant pot.

[0036] The island 12 may be made of any closed cell plastic foam such as polystyrene or polyurethane. It may be of any desired size and may have any desired number and size of recesses to carry an appropriate number of potted decorative plants. As an example, an island may have a length of about 24 inches and an irregular width of about 18-21 inches with a maximum depth of about 12 inches. The large center planter recess is 8 inches in diameter and 5 inches in depth. The smaller side planter recesses or 4 inches in diameter and 3⅝ inches in depth. There are two “Frog Hut” recesses of about 4 inches in diameter and 4 inches in depth. The signs are cross-made from wood, the cross member being three inches wide and the posts being quarter inch dowels, 6 inches long. Another example has a similarly sized island body with a large center planter recess of 12 inches in diameter and 7 inches in depth, and no smaller recesses. This example has two “Frog Hut” recesses of about 4 inches in diameter and 4 inches in depth.

[0037] The inventive island paradise planter enables the user to have a variety of non-aquatic annual flowering plants along with aquatic plants in a pond or water garden. The planter pots are easily removable for seasonal plantings. Preferably, annual or tropical plants are contained in the removable pots. Examples of such plants are Impatien's, Begonia's and Geraniums. The island provides shade for a pond, which helps prevent algae growth and provides for oxygenation of the water by the submersible plant. The island provides shelter for amphibians such as frogs, newts, etc. The oxygenating plant and net create a desirable place for fish spawning and a safe haven for fish hatchlings. An example of an appropriate oxygenating plant useful in the present invention is the Anacharis plant.

[0038] It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the sole embodiment described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.