Title:
Memorial vase insert live flower and helium balloon holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The instant invention is a live flower memorial vase insert and helium balloon holder comprising a vase insert body, a medium sleeve and a large sleeve if the sleeves are required to achieve a suitable fit in a vase. The instant invention allows the reuse of the insert to replace old flower arrangements with new ones. Live flowers are inserted into the instant invention by placing floral stems inside the insert. The instant invention, in conjunction with medium and large sleeves, allows the vase insert to fit various sizes of memorial vases, and also provides convenient and novel helium balloon holders.



Inventors:
Barlow, Jance A. (Broken Arrow, OK, US)
Application Number:
11/265599
Publication Date:
03/16/2006
Filing Date:
11/02/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G7/00; A47G7/07
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Primary Examiner:
PALO, FRANCIS T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARTIN S. HIGH (Clemson, SC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A memorial vase insert live flower and helium balloon holder comprising a vase insert body; a medium sleeve if required to achieve a suitable fit in a vase; a large sleeve if required to achieve a suitable fit in a vase; where the vase insert body is comprised of a bottom surface; a plurality of vase insert wedges; a top body with is comprised of an outside lip and an inside lip; and a plurality of balloon holders.

2. The memorial vase insert as described in claim 1 wherein the vase insert body is an essentially cylindrical shape with a taper from a larger diameter at top of the vase insert body to a narrower bottom of the vase insert body.

3. The memorial vase insert as described in claim 2 wherein the plurality of balloon holders is comprised of two balloon holders; the plurality of vase insert wedges is comprised of six vase insert wedges.

4. The memorial vase insert as described in claim 3 wherein the vase insert body is manufactured from polyethylene; the medium sleeve and the large sleeve are manufactured from rigid polymeric foam.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The field of the instant invention is generally the support of flowers. More specifically, the instant invention is directed towards the support of live flowers in a memorial or cemetery vase.

2. Description of the Related Art

The prior art can be categorized in two general classes: memorial markers with permanently affixed or integrally manufactured flower inserts; and temporary vases, termed cemetery containers, comprised of foam or other flower holding means that are inserted into the ground. For years the use of plastic or metal vase liners have been the standard for holding live flowers in memorial vases. Many memorial vases consist of a plastic or metal vase liner that is inserted into the ground or into a memorial vase that is attached permanently to the memorial to hold water for live flowers.

Temporary metal and plastic cemetery containers are available in a range of styles and sizes that come in cone, flat-bottom, and round-bottom styles. These containers typically feature a detachable stem for insertion into ground or permanent headstone receptacles. An example of these types of containers is U.S. Pat. No. 6,128,855 ('855). The invention taught by patent '855 involves a conical shaped vase with a spike that is inserted into the ground. The hollow formed by the cone supports the flowers and water for the flowers.

Various problems occur when using temporary cemetery containers. Often cemetery containers include a detachable stem for insertion into the ground as taught by U.S. Pat. No. '855. Many cemeteries do not allow these types of cemetery containers because these cemetery containers are often placed into the ground and not directly into a permanent memorial vase and they interfere with the maintenance of the cemetery grounds.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,312,014 ('014) is an example of a permanently affixed memorial vase liner. The '014 patent teaches a traditional memorial marker with an integrated flower vase to hold live and artificial flowers. There are numerous drawbacks to the currently available solutions to holding flowers at memorial markers via memorial vases and memorial vase liners. Often the original vase liner that is included with the purchase of a memorial vase is lost. If a person desires to replace the liner they often are required to return to the monument company where the vase was purchased and repurchase or order another one and these replacement liners are often expensive to replace. Alternatively, they may choose to purchase a generic plastic or metal replacement from a local retail store. Unfortunately, often these containers may not properly fit their memorial vase properly.

Other problems often occur when using conventional vase liners that are permanently affixed or are manufactured integrally with the memorial such as the memorial vase taught by the '014 patent. Memorial vases are the receptacles found near or permanently attached to grave markers at cemeteries and memorial gardens used to contain flowers, either natural or artificial flowers. If the user does not know the memorial vase-opening dimension, the user will be required to guess the size of liner to purchase. If selected liner is too small for the memorial vase, the liner will not fit in the memorial vase properly which will result in the liner leaning to one side of memorial vase, causing the arrangement to be unbalanced. If the liner is too large for memorial vase, the liner may protrude out the top of the memorial vase, which is visibly unpleasant.

An additional problem with using many of the solutions taught in the prior art is the lack of a method for securing balloons to memorial vases. Frequently balloons are added to flower arrangements in memorial vases to remember special occasions of the deceased such as birthdays. Without balloon holders specifically incorporated into the vase or vase insert, the user must use an imaginative way to find a way to securely hold helium balloons in the vase. Often the balloons are tied onto one of the live flower stems. This provides unnecessary stress on the flower stem and leads to potential loss of the flower and damage to the arrangement.

The instant invention seeks to eliminate these concerns outlined above and develop a solution for holding live flowers and helium balloons in memorial vases because:

    • Users are often confused as to what size generic liner to purchase.
    • Liners that are purchased too small may result in an unbalanced arrangement, loosing the desired arrangement appearance.
    • Liners that are purchased too large may protrude out the top of memorial vase, which is visibly unpleasant.
    • There is a lack of a method for tying on helium balloons.
    • Often cemetery rules prohibit the use of cemetery containers or generic vases that are placed directly into the ground using a detachable stem or stems.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The general purpose of the instant invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail, is to provide a reusable device that fits various sizes of memorial vases for the purpose of holding live flowers and helium balloons. In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types and uses of conventional prior art, the instant invention was developed as a new device and method of holding live flowers and helium balloons in memorial vases. The instant invention has many advantages and novel features over the prior art that results in a new method and a reusable device specifically designed for the purpose of holding live flowers and helium balloons in various sizes of memorial vases.

The instant invention, the live flower memorial vase insert, described herein is functionally superior to conventional generic liners or cemetery containers. The live flower memorial vase insert is designed to fit various sizes of memorial vases, alleviating the guesswork out of deciding which size liner to purchase. The result is a more attractive, secure and stable flower arrangement in the memorial vase.

Unlike conventional liners and cemetery container devices, this invention provides two or more balloon holders. These convenient and novel balloon holders are a much needed solution to the problem of tying on balloons, particularly helium balloons, in memorial vases. When using generic liners or cemetery containers, the user must use his/her imagination to solve the problem of where to tie on helium balloons.

When compared to conventional methods and devices used for holding live flowers in memorial vases, the invention described can be reused without requiring replacement after each floral arrangement. Because this invention provides sleeves to fit various sizes of memorial vases, the guesswork is alleviated in deciding which size liner to purchase.

One objective of the inventive device is to provide a reusable device to display live flowers in memorial vases. Another objective of the inventive device is to provide a method to display helium balloons in memorial vases. Another objective of the inventive device is to provide a device that is designed to fit various sizes of memorial vases, alleviating the guesswork out of what size liner to purchase. In these respects, the inventive device substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in so doing presents a reusable device that offers a unique approach to holding live flowers securely, neatly, and attractively in memorial vases. The medium and large foam sleeves allow the invention to fit various sizes of memorial vases, in addition novel balloon holders' offer a much needed, convenient solution to tie on helium balloons.

To accomplish the above and related objectives, the instant invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The drawings are illustrative only, and that changes may be made in the specific construction illustrated.

There have thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in this application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be used as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. Additional benefits and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in those skilled in the art to which the present invention relates from the subsequent description of the preferred embodiment and the appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

Various other objects, features and attendant advantages of the inventive device will become fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

FIG. 1 shows a side, perspective view of an embodiment of the vase insert.

FIG. 2 shows a side view of an embodiment of the vase insert.

FIG. 3 shows a sectional side view of an embodiment of the vase insert.

FIG. 4 shows a top view of an embodiment of the vase insert.

FIG. 5 shows a side view of an embodiment of the vase insert showing the medium and large sleeves installed on the vase insert.

FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the vase insert showing the introduction of flowers and the use of a medium vase insert.

FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the vase insert showing the introduction of flowers and the use of both a medium vase sleeve and a large vase sleeve.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The instant invention, the memorial vase insert live flower and helium balloon holder 101, is comprised of a vase insert body 102 which may be used in conjunction with a medium sleeve 401 or both a medium sleeve 401 and a large sleeve 402. In other words, the vase insert body 102 may be used alone, or the vase insert body may be used with a medium sleeve 401 or both a medium sleeve 401 and a large sleeve 402. Integrally formed to the vase insert body are a plurality of vase insert wedges 103, an outside lip 104, an inside lip 105, and a plurality of balloon holders 106. The instant invention is reusable. When the user of the invention removes the invention from service, the invention is easily stored and reused at a later date.

The vase insert body 102 is essentially a hollow cylinder tapered towards the bottom end 108. That is, the top end 107 is slightly larger in diameter than the bottom end 108. The vase insert body 102 is further comprised of a bottom surface 301 integrally affixed to the bottom end 108. The vase insert body 102 and bottom surface 301 forms a water impenetrable barrier and serve to hold water in the instant invention to support the water needs and the longevity of the live flowers 601. The vase insert body 102 can be manufactured in a variety of sizes to accommodate a range of memorial vases.

Integrally affixed to the top end 107 of the vase insert body 102 is an inside lip 105 which is in turn integrally affixed to an outside lip 104. The inside lip 105 and outside lip 104 provide support for the memorial vase insert when the memorial vase insert is inserted into the memorial vase. The outside lip 104 extends over the outside edge of the memorial vase. Further, when instant invention, the memorial vase insert 101, is fully inserted into the memorial vase, the outside lip 104 rests on top of the walls of the memorial vase. In this manner, the outside lip 104 supports memorial vase insert 101 when inserted into a memorial vase.

Integrally formed on the inside lip 105 are a plurality of balloon holders 106. The balloon holders provide a secure means of affixing balloons or strings attached to balloons to the memorial vase insert.

Integrally affixed to the outside surface of the vase insert body 102 is a plurality of vase insert wedges 103. The vase insert wedges 103 are tapered extensions from the vase insert body 102 located equidistantly and circumferentially around the outside of the vase insert body 102. The vase insert wedges 103 are gradually tapered from a small extension from the vase insert body 102 near the middle portion of the vase insert body 102 to a large extension from the vase insert body 103 at a location near the top end 107 of the vase insert body 102 just underneath the inner lip 105.

The vase insert wedges 103 provide a secure fit for the memorial vase insert 101 when inserted into the memorial vase. As the memorial vase insert 101 is inserted into the memorial vase, the vase insert wedges 103 come into contact with the inside walls of the memorial vase. As the memorial vase insert 101 is further inserted into the memorial vase, the vase insert wedges 103 provide a resistance fit with the inside walls of the memorial vase. In one preferred embodiment of the invention, there are six vase insert wedges 103.

The medium sleeve 401 and large sleeve 402 are used in conjunction with the memorial vase insert 101 to provide a more secure fit in a memorial vase. The medium sleeves 401 and large sleeves 402 allow the memorial vase insert to fit in various sizes of memorial vases. Even though some memorial vases have the same nominal diameter opening, some may have different circumferences throughout the vase. So, for example, two memorial vases can have the same diameter opening but different circumference throughout each vase, so one vase may require a medium sleeve, and another vase may require both the medium and large sleeve although both vases have the same nominal diameter. Finally, yet another style or type memorial vase may not require the use of any sleeves. Therefore, the instant invention 101 can fit a wide variety of memorial vases with and without the use of the medium or large sleeves as required.

When a memorial vase has a slightly larger diameter than can be accommodated by a secure fit with the vase insert wedges alone, a medium sleeve 401 or a combination of a medium sleeve 401 and large sleeve 402 can be used to provide a more secure fit. The medium sleeve 401 or a combination of a medium sleeve 401 and large sleeve 402 is placed around the vase insert body 102 and positioned near the top end 107 of the vase insert body 102 and covers the vase insert wedges 103. Now as the vase insert 101 is inserted into the memorial vase, the vase insert wedges 103 come into contact with the inside walls of the medium sleeve 401, which in turn, comes into contact with the inside walls of the large sleeve 402 if a large sleeve is being used, which, in turn, provides a resistance fit with the inside walls of the memorial vase. The medium sleeve 401 or a combination of a medium sleeve 401 and large sleeve 402 thereby provides a more secure resistance fit with the memorial vase when necessary. The sleeves allow the instant invention to be adapted and to fit securely in various sizes of memorial vases. The medium sleeves 401 and large sleeves 402 are essentially thin walled cylindrical structures manufactured from a rigid, but slightly compliant, material. In one preferred embodiment of the invention, the medium sleeves 401 and large sleeves 402 are manufactured from polyethylene foam.

The instant invention, memorial vase insert live flower and helium balloon holder 101, improves and simplifies the process of displaying live flower arrangements and securing helium balloons in various sizes of memorial vases. In the best mode of the invention, the user cuts flowers to fit attractively in the vase insert body 102. Then the user places the vase insert body 102 into the memorial vase. If the vase insert body 102 is not secure in the memorial vase, the user inserts the vase insert body 102 into a medium sleeve 401 or a combination of a medium sleeve 401 and large sleeve 402. The user then inserts this assembly (as illustrated in FIG. 5, FIG. 6 and FIG. 7) into the memorial vase. Also in this best mode, the user may reuse the same memorial vase insert to replace old flower arrangements with new ones. Further, in the best mode of the instant invention, the balloon holders provide a convenient place to tie on helium balloons.

In the best mode of use of the instant invention, the vase insert outside lip 104 allows the memorial vase insert to rest on top of memorial vase walls. Without the vase insert outside lip 104, the vase insert may possibly fall inside of the memorial vase and/or be difficult to be taken out of the memorial vase once it is inserted.