Title:
Fresh flower bouquet system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The fresh flower bouquet system provides cost-effective production of fresh floral bouquets, forming bouquets with symmetrical spacing of individual stems and maintaining the flowers in water and a cut flower hydrating solution without the use of floral foam. The system includes a plastic or metal cap having a grid of holes defined therein, a plastic or glass vase or other container, and a tie-down system, e.g., an elastic or rubber band wrapped around the stems, for bundling the stems together in the container below the cap. When the closure or cap is snapped or threaded on to the container, a secured, self-contained floral bouquet having maximum shelf life because of continuous hydration is formed.



Inventors:
Foster, Richard (Miami, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/217416
Publication Date:
11/30/2006
Filing Date:
09/02/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G7/07
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
VALENTI, ANDREA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A fresh flower bouquet system, comprising: a generally cylindrical, plastic container adapted for holding water and having a depth adapted for supporting stems of a bouquet of fresh cut flowers, the container being approximately four inches in diameter by approximately eight inches in length to allow for sufficient water and nutrients for preserving the fresh flower bouquet to remain alive for a minimum of seven days, said container further defining an open mouth with external threads; a rigid, plastic cap having a grid of identical circular holes defined therein adapted for passing the flower stems therethrough and maintaining the flowers in a fixed arrangement, said grid of identical circular holes being the only holes in said cap said cap including a downwardly depending cylindrical sidewall with internal threads configured to engage the external threads of said container open mouth, the cap being dimensioned to cover the open mouth and being removably attachable to the open mouth by rotation of the cap and engagement of said internal and external threads; and a tie-down device comprising an elastic band adapted for bundling the stems of the flowers together below the cap, and for maintaining the stems bundled together to avoid damage to the flowers upon rotation of said cap when said internal and external threads are being engaged and disengaged.

2. 2-9. (canceled)

10. A method of preparing a floral bouquet arrangement of flowers, comprising the steps of: providing a plurality of fresh cut flowers having stems; providing a generally cylindrical, plastic container adapted for holding water and for supporting the stems of a bouquet of fresh cut flowers, said container being approximately four inches in diameter by approximately eight inches in length to allow for sufficient water and nutrients for preserving the flower bouquet to remain alive for a minimum of seven days, said container having an open mouth with external threads: providing a rigid, plastic cap with a grid of identical circular holes, said grid of identical circular holes being the only holes in said cap, said cap including a downwardly depending cylindrical sidewall with internal threads; providing an elastic band; filling the container with water and hydrating solution; arranging the stems of the flowers in the grid of circular holes defined in the rigid cap; tying the stems into a bundle in place below the cap with the elastic band; and attaching the cap onto the container by rotatably engaging the internal threads of the downwardly depending cylindrical sidewall with the external threads of the container open mouth.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/595,041, filed May 31, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to flower arranging systems, and more particularly to systems for arranging a bouquet of flowers in a vase.

2. Description of the Related Art

There have been many attempts to provide mechanical assistance to aid in the creation of floral arrangements for distribution and display. One such system employs the use of open cell foam, i.e., floral foam. The problem with floral foam is that it is bulky and must be cut to size.

In addition, foam is hard to store and not cost-effective due to the intensity of labor involved in its use. Moreover, floral foam becomes damaged with use, and is generally thrown away when the floral arrangement dies. Thus, if a florist or consumer wishes to recreate the arrangement, he or she must cut, properly size and insert a replica of the original foam piece into the vase for a new set of cut flowers. This procedure is commercially unacceptable for a modern and efficient florist operation.

Some caps with grids have been developed for separating flowers and maintaining their positions in a vase or other container. However, such caps are either elastomeric in order to grip the mouth of the vase or container or, if rigid, are either snap-on or friction fit lids, or use clamps so that the cap can be lifted straight on or off the vase or container. While such caps do keep the flowers separated and arranged in a desired pattern, caps with clamps are expensive and cumbersome, while snap-on, friction fit, and elastic lids can be difficult to remove, and may occasionally become stuck, causing spillage and damage to the flower arrangement. Twist-on caps are more convenient, economical, and easier to use, but are not provided with a grid pattern for separating flowers, probably because of the risk of damage to the stems of the flowers from the twisting motion, as well as the materials used in making the caps, which may be sharp enough to cut the stems.

Japanese Patent No. 6-62,943, published Mar. 8, 1994, shows a cap for a vase that allows follows to be inserted through the cap into the vase through a single central tube extending through the cap. Japanese Pat. No. 6,253,964, published Sep. 13, 1994, describes a system in which an elastomeric packing sheet having holes defined therein for receiving flower stems is placed over a vase and a cap is then pressed down onto the mouth of the vase over the packing sheet to retain the packing sheet on the vase.

None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to suggest or describe the present invention as claimed. There remains a need for a flower bouquet system for maintaining a bouquet arrangement of flowers in a vase or other container with an economical and easy to use cap, and particularly a cap that can maintain an effective seal over the mouth of the vase or container, but can be removed with an east twisting motion without the risk of spillage or damage to the flowers. Thus, a fresh flower bouquet system solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The fresh flower bouquet system provides cost-effective production of fresh floral bouquets, forming bouquets with symmetrical spacing of individual stems and maintaining the flowers in water and a cut flower hydrating solution without the use of floral foam. The system includes a plastic or metal cap having a grid of holes defined therein, a plastic or glass vase or other container, and a tie-down system, e.g., an elastic or rubber band wrapped around the stems, for bundling the stems together in the container below the cap. When the closure or cap is snapped or threaded on to the container, a secured, self-contained floral bouquet having maximum shelf life because of continuous hydration is formed.

The cap may be twisted or rotated for removal to add water or nutrients without disturbing the design of the arrangement, or for removal of the flowers, without spillage or damage to the flowers, since the stems rotate uniformly with the cap. The stems may be further protected from damage by forming the portion of the cap defining the grid from plastic or soft metal without sharp edges to avoid cutting the stems when rotating the cap. Consumers enjoy maximum convenience because the present invention provides for the arranging, cutting, and hydration of the bouquet.

These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental perspective view of a fresh flower bouquet system according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of a cap of the system according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the fresh flower bouquet system according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an environmental side view of the fresh flower bouquet system according to the present invention in vertical section.

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

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention is a fresh flower bouquet system, designated generally as 100 in the drawings, that provides for cost-effective production of fresh floral bouquets, forming bouquets with symmetrical spacing of individual stems and maintaining the flowers in water and a cut flower hydrating solution without the use of floral foam.

As shown in FIG. 1, the system 1 00 of the present invention has a rigid cap 108 having a grid of symmetrically spaced through bores, i.e., holes 115, defined in the cap 1 08. The cap 108 may be made from plastic, or may be made from metal, but having the portion defining the grid formed without sharp edges that might cut the stems of the flowers during removal of the cap 1 08. It should be understood that the holes 115 have sufficient dimension to accommodate a typical cut stem from a flower. In addition, as shown in FIG. 4, the cap 108 has a cylindrical sidewall 11 0 defining internal threads 127, which are provided for threading the cap 108 onto the externally threaded mouth 1 29 of a vase, bottle, jar, or other container 1 05. The container 105 may be made from plastic, glass, or other suitable material. The cap 108, the container 105, or both the cap 108 and the container 1 05 may be translucent or transparent, if desired.

Instead of a threaded cap 108, the cap may be a snap-on or friction fit, or may be provided with other means for securing the cap to the container. For example, container 105 and cap 108 may be provided with mating bosses to provide a snap fit of the jar 1 05 and the cap 1 08 together for attachment and securement. The cap 108 may be fitted with a resilient gasket made or rubber or neoprene, if desired, for forming a watertight seal with the mouth of the container 105.

The system also includes at least one tie-down device, such as tie, string, or rubber or elastic band 125, shown in FIGS. 1, 3, and 4, which is disposed below the cap 1 08 and bundles the stems 1 20 together so that all of the stems 120 rotate in unison when the cap 108 is twisted or rotated. The tying apparatus 125 is provided to assist in keeping the flowers in a predetermined arrangement above the cap 108, and prevents damage to the stems 120 when removing the cap 108, either to add water or nutrients to the container 1 05, or to move the flowers to another container.

As shown in FIG. 1, a secured, self-contained floral bouquet ready for display or shipping, and having maximum shelf life due to continuous hydration is provided by filling the container 105 with water and hydrating solution 132, arranging plant stems 120 in holes 115, tying the stems in place below the cap 108 at a point preferably defined by length L1 of jar 105 minus tying reference distance L2, and then threading the cap 108 onto the container 105. Consumers enjoy maximum convenience because the system 100 provides for the arranging, cutting, and hydration of the bouquet. The container 105 preferably has dimensions of approximately four inches diameter D and approximately eight inches in height L1. These dimensions allow for sufficient water and nutrients for preserving cut flowers in the bouquet to remain alive for a minimum of 7 days.

The fresh flower bouquet system 100 provides a convenient system for retail sales of flower bouquets, since the container 105 provides a stable support for the bouquet when placed in a bag having handles.

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