Title:
Protective surround for a headstone and method of use
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A surround that is most useful for reducing unwanted weed growth when installed around a typical headstone. The surround is most universal and can be used substantially with any type, style, shape or various size of headstone. Also, the surround may be produced from a variety of materials, including either soft or hard materials, and may further include additional options, such as specially designed drainage holes, support means for accessories such as a candle or a flag, and/or the surround may include a decorative eye pleasing external covering, such as a covering made from imitation grass, or the like.



Inventors:
Santa Cruz, Cathy D. (Reno, NV, US)
Gieratz, Gary (Fallon, NV, US)
Application Number:
10/251245
Publication Date:
03/25/2004
Filing Date:
09/20/2002
Assignee:
SANTA CRUZ CATHY D.
GIERATZ GARY
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H13/00; (IPC1-7): E02D27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GREEN, CHRISTY MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Cathy D. Santa Cruz (Reno, NV, US)
Claims:

Having described our invention, what we claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:



1. A protective surround for enclosing the exterior edges of a headstone comprising: multiple interconnected members, said multiple interconnected members being removably attached together by attachment means, and said multiple interconnected members when assembled form a central compartment for containment of a headstone therein.

2. The surround of claim 1 wherein said multiple interconnected members are made from a hard material consisting of plastic, cement, steel, aluminum, or wood.

3. The surround of claim 1 wherein said multiple interconnected members are made from a flexible material consisting of plastic, cardboard, rubber, Styrofoam™, or clay.

4. The surround of claim 1 wherein said multiple interconnected members each further include internal trusses.

5. The surround of claim 1 wherein said multiple interconnected members being removably attached together by attachment means comprising: two of said multiple interconnected members having protrusions extending outwardly there from, two of said multiple interconnected members having recessed cavities, and said protrusions each being of a shape and size to be frictionally engaged within one of said recessed cavities, whereby, when each one of said protrusions are inserted within a corresponding one of said recessed cavities, each of said multiple interconnected members are frictionally attached together.

6. The surround of claim 1 wherein said multiple interconnected members being removably attached together by attachment means comprising: multiple fasteners of the following variety, stakes, pins or nails.

7. The surround of claim 1 wherein said multiple interconnected members being removably attached together by attachment means comprising: multiple fasteners of the following variety, hook and loop, glue or adhesive.

8. The surround of claim 1 wherein said multiple interconnected members being removably attached together by attachment means comprising: multiple fasteners of the following variety, brackets, clips or staples.

9. The surround of claim 1 further includes at least one of said multiple interconnected members having at least one angled drainage hole, said angled drainage hole having a top opening and a bottom opening, whereby light entering said top opening of said angled drainage hole will not be transferred to said bottom opening of said angled drainage hole.

10. The surround of claim 1 further includes at least one of said multiple interconnected members having a compartment for containment of a light source.

11. The surround of claim 10 wherein said light source is battery operated.

12. The surround of claim 1 further includes at least one of said multiple interconnected members having a receptacle for receiving and supporting an accessory item therein.

13. The surround of claim 12 wherein said accessory item is a flag or a candle.

14. The surround of claim 1 further includes each of said multiple interconnected members having an external covering.

15. The surround of claim 14 wherein said external covering is made from imitation grass.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to surrounds that are used for enclosing the exterior edges of a headstone or the like, but more particularly pertains to such a surround that is formed from multiple interconnecting members. With each of the members being made from either a hard material or a soft flexible material, and when installed using the novel method as described herein, reduces typical costs attributable to grounds maintenance. Also the end result is a surround that is very aesthetically pleasing to the eye, it is easily manufactured, cost effective, and most durable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] In the past, many attempts have been made to provide a cost effective functional surround that may be used for support of a headstone or the like. However, most surrounds of this nature are designed to function as a support means only for holding the headstone in an upright manner, or the like.

[0003] For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,546,710 entitled “CUSTOMIZED MEMOREIAL” is functional for supporting a headstone as it is simply a box for receiving the headstone therein, but it further includes novel features such as compartments wherein pictures and other pertinent information can be stored and displayed.

[0004] Another example is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,519,966 entitled “GRAVESTONE FLOWER HOLDER” which is again functional for support of a headstone but it also includes novel features such as holes for receiving and growing plants there through.

[0005] Numerous other examples of prior art exist but each have inherent disadvantages and drawbacks that the present invention clearly recognizes, addresses, and resolves in a manner heretofore not taught, as will be seen within the following specification.

[0006] The most common problem associated within the known prior art is that in each reference they do not recognize that weeds can easily grow around the exterior of the headstone and this is not only visually distracting but also very expensive to maintain, as the groundskeeper must continually remove the weeds and this is very time-consuming and costly. In fact, within the known prior art, the references teach away from the present invention as they encourage plant or weed growth and even supply holes for the plants to grow there through. This is a pleasant thought as flowers are very pretty, but even if flowers are used the groundskeeper must also attend to their upkeep. This further increases the maintenance costs, as flowers further require appropriate watering which is still more costly and time-consuming.

[0007] It is therefore contended that there is a great need for a new type of surround which reduces weed growth and which is also aesthetically pleasing, durable, economical to produce and provides unusual results not taught within the known prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a surround which easy to install. The surround is assembled from multiple interconnecting members and each of the members may be made from either a hard or soft material, depending on engineering choice. For example, if the members are to be made from a hard material, they may be formed from a plastic mold injection, or from cement, steel, aluminum, wood, etc. Or if preferred, they may be made from either flexible plastic, cardboard, rubber, Styrofoam™, clay, brick, etc.

[0009] Another object of the present invention is to provide a surround wherein the above noted members may be interconnected in numerous ways depending on engineering choice, such as by stakes, pins, brackets, a friction fit, nails, glue, staples, Velcro™, adhesive, clips, or the like.

[0010] Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a surround wherein the above noted members may also be formed having internal trusses for increased strength and durability.

[0011] Still another object of the present invention is to provide a surround wherein the above noted members may be made into various configurations of user choice, such as rectangular, square, circular, oblong, oval, etc.

[0012] A further object of the present invention is to provide a surround wherein the noted members may be produced in various sizes of engineering choice. For example, when assembled the members may be of a shape and size to surround a headstone having different measurements, such as 24″ by 48″, 24″ by 30″, 16″ by 28″, 12″ by 24″, 16″ by 26″, etc.

[0013] Also another object of the present invention is to provide a surround wherein the above noted members may be covered with imitation turf or other decorative covering, so as to blend in with the surrounding earth and also be pleasing to the eye.

[0014] Another object of the present invention is to provide a surround wherein the noted members may also include additional options that may be used individually or in combination, such as they may include drainage holes, a compartment for a light source, a receptacle for a flag or a candle, or the like.

[0015] Yet a further object of the present invention is to provide a surround which when assembled using the method as taught herein, reduces unwanted weed growth as the method steps include use of a herbicide.

[0016] Still another object of the present invention is to provide a surround that is suitable for use with substantially any style of headstone, including flat or upright types.

[0017] Other objects and advantages will be seen when taken into consideration with the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] FIG. 1 is a plan view depicting the present invention when assembled with a headstone therein and the surrounding earth is pushed up against the external edges of the surround.

[0019] FIG. 2 is a top view of the surround wherein the members are formed with internal trusses with the trusses being shown in ghost lines and this figure further illustrates one type of frictional fastener means, such as protrusions and receiving cavities each of which are also shown in ghost lines.

[0020] FIG. 3 is a side view of one of the members depicting internal holes for receiving fasteners therein, such as stakes, nails, screws, pins, or the like.

[0021] FIG. 4 is a top view of one of the members depicting a different type of fastener means such as Velcro™, glue, adhesive, or the like.

[0022] FIG. 5 is a top view of one of the members depicting a different type of fastener means such as clips, brackets, or staples.

[0023] FIG. 6 is a side view of the one of the members depicting a aesthetically pleasing covering such as imitation turf, and additional optional features such as a compartment having a light source therein, a receptacle for support of a flag or candle therein, and/a combination of these.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0024] Referring now in detail to the drawings wherein like characters refer to like elements throughout the various views. Throughout the various drawings (10) is substantially an overview of the present invention which is a surround used for enclosing the exterior edges of a headstone (12). It is to be understood the present surround (10) can be used with any type of headstone (12) of the user choice, such as those which are simply a stone which is normally embedded within the ground, or other types of headstones which typically stand upright. Also, the present surround is functional for use with any headstone no matter what the shape or size.

[0025] Referring now to FIG. 1, wherein we depict the preferred embodiment for the present invention which is a protective surround (10) that is used for enclosing the exterior edges of a headstone (12). Protective surround (10) comprising of multiple interconnected members (14) that are removably attached together by suitable attachment means and when each of the members (14) are interconnected and assembled in the manner as later described herein, form substantially a central compartment for containment of a headstone (12) therein.

[0026] Each of the members (14) are not specifically designed to be only useful for providing additional support, but each are more so designed for reducing undesirable weed growth which is typically associated with most other known types of surrounds. Therefore, it can be seen that each of the members (14) may be made from substantially any suitable type of material of engineering choice. For example, each of the members (14) may be made from a hard material such as plastic, cement, steel, brick, aluminum, or wood, etc. However if preferred, each of the members (14) may be made from a softer flexible material such as flexible plastic, cardboard, rubber, Styrofoam™, clay, or the like.

[0027] It is to be further understood that each of the members (14) when interconnected may also be of any suitable shape, such as square, circular, oblong, rectangular, etc., or any suitable size, please see previous noted dimensions, each of which depend on engineering choice and/or consumer needs.

[0028] Referring now to the various attachment means for removably attaching each of the multiple interconnected members (14) together. Any suitable type of fastener means may be used, thus the following attachment means are only exemplary of some suitable types, but the invention is not to be limited thereto.

[0029] As depicted in FIGS. 1 & 2, the surround (10) is formed from a multiple of four interconnecting members (14), and the noted attachment means for interconnecting each of the members (14) comprises two of the multiple interconnected members (14) having protrusions (16) extending outwardly there from and the other two multiple interconnected members having recessed cavities (18), each of which are depicted in ghost lines in FIG. 2. As further seen therein, each of the protrusions (16) are of a shape and size to be frictionally engaged within one of the corresponding recessed cavities (18). Whereby, it can clearly be seen that when each of the protrusions (16) are inserted within a corresponding one recessed cavity (18), each of the members (14) are frictionally interconnected and form a central compartment (20) for containment of headstone (12) therein. It can further be seen within FIG. 2, that if so desired for increased strength and durability, each of the multiple interconnected members (14) may be manufactured with internal trusses (22) and/or knee braces, etc.

[0030] Another type of suitable attachment means for removably attaching each of the multiple interconnected members (14) together is depicted in FIG. 3. Wherein the noted attachment means comprises multiple fasteners (24) with each of the fasteners (24) being in the form of either stakes, pins, nails, or the like. However, if this type of attachment means is used it may be useful and aesthetically appealing to provide a recessed hole for receiving the fastener therein, this allows the fastener to be installed in a flush manner within the top surface of the member.

[0031] Yet another type of suitable attachment means for removably attaching each of the multiple interconnected members (14) together is depicted in FIG. 4. Wherein the noted attachment means comprises multiple fasteners (26), with each of the fasteners (26) being in the form of either the hook and loop type such as Velcro™, glue, adhesive, or the like.

[0032] Still a further type of suitable attachment means for removably attaching each of the multiple interconnected members (14) together is depicted in FIG. 5. Wherein the noted attachment means comprises multiple fasteners (28), with each of the fasteners (28) being in the form of either brackets, clips or staples, etc.

[0033] Referring now to FIG. 6, wherein we depict other optional features that may be included within the present invention. For example, it may be advantageous to include at least one drainage hole (26) so as to eliminate undesirable accumulation of water around the headstone (12). However, it is preferred that such a drainage hole (26) be angled having a top opening and a bottom opening, whereby light entering the top opening of the angled drainage hole (26) will not be transferred to the bottom opening thereof. This is an important feature as this type of drainage hole will not encourage weed growth there through, unlike a drainage hole which would allow light to be transferred there through and encourage weed growth.

[0034] Yet another optional feature of the present invention is also shown in FIG. 6, wherein at least one of the multiple interconnected members (14) has a compartment (28) for containment of a light source. It is to be noted any suitable type of light source may be used according to engineering choice. For example, one suitable light source may be of the battery-operated type, or even solar powered.

[0035] Still another optional feature is depicted in FIG. 6, wherein at least one of the multiple interconnected members (14) has at least one or more multipurpose receptacle(s) (30) for receiving and supporting an accessory item therein. For example, some types of accessories may include but are not limited to, either a flag (32) or a candle (34), etc.

[0036] It can further be seen in FIG. 6, that another option is to include each of the multiple interconnected members (14) having an external covering. Again, any suitable type of covering that is aesthetically pleasing of engineering choice may be used. However, the preferred external covering is made from imitation grass, such as typically referred to as Turf™, or the like. This is most advantageous as this allows the surround (10) to blend in with the existing ground covering and further reduce weed infestation.

[0037] As previously noted, the present invention further includes a novel method for use and/or installation process. For example, as depicted in FIG. 1, it can clearly be seen that once the headstone (12) is positioned into the desired location, each of the multiple interconnected members (14) may then be independently positioned around the exterior edges of the headstone (12). Thereafter, each member (14) is interconnected together by appropriate fastening means, as previously addressed. Most importantly, another step includes pushing the surrounding earth (36) up and around the external edges of each of the multiple interconnected members (14) until the earth (36) rests in a flush manner with the top surface of each of the members (14), respectively. If desired, another important step is to distribute a weed killing substance, such as an herbicide or the like, onto the surrounding earth (36) so as to reduce unwanted weed growth or infestation.

[0038] It will now be seen we have herein provided a new and novel surround which is used for enclosing the exterior edges of a headstone and which reduces unwanted weed growth in a manner heretofore not taught.

[0039] Although the invention has been herein shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made there from within the scope and spirit of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices and apparatuses.