Title:
Versatile 2-piece floral bouquet holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A multi-functional 2-piece bouquet holder that shortens the time required to construct a floral bouquet and provides dual uses for the floral portion and the handle portion. The 2-piece hand-held floral bouquet holder comprises a handle portion and a head portion that are releasably connected together. The handle portion includes a replaceable re-hydration cartridge that allows for selected re-hydration of the flowers in the bouquet. When the head portion is not attached to the handle, the head portion can be attached to an adjustable stand, a storage unit or to a display unit. The adjustable stand assists in construction of the floral bouquet by allowing the florist to place the head portion in any desired position. The present bouquet holder also includes an attachment device that allows functional accessories to be added to the bouquet. A full line of accessories can also be provided for attachment to the bouquet. The storage unit allows for safe refrigerated storage of the head portions/floral bouquets and uses a minimal amount of refrigeration space. The display unit allows a head/floral portion to be displayed on tables or other flat surfaces.



Inventors:
Castillo, James A. (Honolulu, HI, US)
Castillo, Yoshie A. (Honolulu, HI, US)
Application Number:
11/504332
Publication Date:
03/27/2008
Filing Date:
08/15/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARLOW, MONICA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SETO PATENTS (SALEM, VA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A versatile and multi-functional 2-piece bouquet holder that is adapted for holding and hydrating a floral bouquet, the bouquet holder comprising: a head portion, the head portion having an upper section and a lower section, wherein the upper section includes an external structure and an internal medium for holding and hydrating the floral bouquet, and wherein the lower section includes a first half of an attachment mechanism; and, a handle, the handle having a top portion and an interior, wherein the top portion of the handle includes a second half of the attachment mechanism, the attachment mechanism allowing the top portion of the handle to be releasably attached to the lower section of the head portion, and wherein the interior of the handle houses a hydrating solution that can selectively be used to re-hydrate the internal medium and the floral bouquet.

2. The bouquet holder of claim 1, wherein the attachment mechanism is a screw mechanism and wherein the first half of the mechanism acts like a bolt and the second half of the mechanism acts like a nut.

3. The bouquet holder of claim 1, wherein the lower section of the head portion includes a hydrating tube that extends from a bottom of the head portion to the internal medium, the hydrating tube providing a conduit between the hydrating solution in the handle and the internal medium.

4. The bouquet holder of claim 3, wherein the hydrating solution in the handle is housed within a hydration cartridge, the hydration cartridge comprising a container for holding the hydrating solution and a long tip that is connected to a top of the container, wherein the tip of the cartridge extends through the hydrating tube of the head portion and wherein the tip includes a break-off portion that can be selectively broken by a user thereby allowing the hydrating solution to travel to and re-hydrate the internal medium and the floral bouquet.

5. The bouquet holder of claim 4, wherein a length of the hydration cartridge is longer than a length of the handle and a bottom the hydration cartridge extends out of an open bottom of the handle, wherein the user breaks the break-off portion of the tip by pressing on the bottom of the hydration cartridge, and wherein the handle and the hydration cartridge include complementary indent and detent portions that allow the cartridge to snap-lock in place upon insertion in the handle and that allow the cartridge to be removed from the handle by pulling on the bottom of the hydration cartridge.

6. The bouquet holder of claim 1, wherein the handle further includes one or more materials that have been added to an exterior of the handle to decorate the handle.

7. The bouquet holder of claim 1, further comprising a stand that assists in decoration of the head portion, the stand comprising a base and at least one support arm, a terminal end of each support arm includes the second half of the attachment mechanism, thereby allowing temporary attachment of a head portion, and wherein each support arm on the stand is adjustable in height and is able to be bent to different angles thereby allowing a florist to construct the floral bouquet with optimal viewing of insertion points.

8. The bouquet holder of claim 1, further comprising a storage unit for storing one or more head portions in a refrigerator, the storage unit comprising a storage container that holds an amount of hydrating solution, including water, the storage container having circular openings in a top of the container that accomodate the head portions, wherein the hydrating tube in each head portion touches the hydrating solution in the container, and wherein the top of the storage unit includes at least one re-fill opening that allows the container to be re-filled with hydrating solution.

9. The bouquet holder of claim 1, further comprising a display unit for displaying one or more head portions on a flat surface, the display unit comprising a display container that holds an amount of hydrating solution, including water, the display unit having one or more openings in a top of the unit that accomodate the one or more head portions, wherein the hydrating tube in each head portion touches the hydrating solution in the container, and wherein the top of the display unit includes at least one re-fill opening that allows the container to be re-filled with hydrating solution.

10. A multi-functional handle that is adapted for connection to a head portion of a 2-piece bouquet holder, the handle comprising: a cylindrical body, the body having a top, a bottom, cylindrical sides and an interior, the top of the cylindrical body includes an attachment mechanism that allows for attachment to the head portion, and the interior of the body stores a hydrating solution that can selectively be transferred to the head portion to re-hydrate a floral arrangement of the head portion.

11. The multi-functional handle of claim 10, wherein the hydrating solution stored in the handle is housed within a replaceable hydration cartridge that can be inserted into, and removed from, the handle via an opening in the bottom of the handle, the hydration cartridge having a tip that extends through the top of the handle when the cartridge is inserted in the handle.

12. The multi-functional handle of claim 11, wherein the cylindrical sides of the handle are decorated with one or more decorative materials, and wherein the tip of the hydration cartridge includes a break-off portion that when broken by the user allows the hydrating solution to travel through the tip of the container and into the head portion.

13. The bouquet holder of claim 1, further comprising an attachment device, including washer-type and cone-type devices, the attachment device having a circular shape and a hollow center that facilitates securing the attachment device to the bouquet holder, the attachment device also having a connector that allows accessories to be attached to the bouquet holder.

14. The bouquet holder of claim 13, wherein the attachment device includes two connectors and hinges are used as the connectors, and wherein each hinge is connected to a leg, the hinges allowing each leg to flex between a closed position wherein each leg is held flush against the handle, and an open position wherein an un-connected end of each leg extends a limited distance from the handle allowing the two legs to be used as a stand that supports the bouquet holder.

15. The bouquet holder of claim 13, wherein the attachment device is used to connect at least one accessory, including a strap and a pouch, to the bouquet holder.

16. The bouquet holder of claim 1, wherein the head portion further comprises an external portion that surrounds the lower section of the head portion, the external portion having a generally ring shape that allows it to be secured between the head portion and the handle, wherein the external portion allows for additional decoration of the head portion.

17. The bouquet holder of claim 16, wherein the external portion that surround the lower section of the head portion is made of one or more materials, including fabric, mesh, plastic, and wettable foam.

18. A natural look bouquet handle that is adapted for connection to a handle of a bouquet holder, the natural look bouquet handle allowing the bouquet holder to take on the look of a bouquet of flowers with un-cut stems, the natural look bouquet handle having a top, a bottom, being generally tubular in shape and comprising: a decorative outer cover; a hollow central passageway that allows for insertion of the handle of the bouquet holder; a notch at the top that is designed to catch on a top of the handle of the bouquet holder; and, a recess in the bottom that allows for insertion of flower stems.

19. The natural look bouquet handle of claim 18, wherein the recess in the bottom of the handle extends around an exterior of the bottom so that the recess forms a ring around the bottom thereby allowing stems to protrude in a circular pattern from the bottom of the handle.

20. The natural look bouquet handle of claim 18, wherein the recess in the bottom of the handle is a female type connector that allows for connection of the handle to a male type connector.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the field of floral bouquets and more specifically to an improved multi-functional floral bouquet holder.

A traditional hand held bouquet holder is designed as a 1-piece unit. The standard 1-piece hand-held floral bouquet holder includes a head portion, comprising a cone-base and a cage-like structure that covers the cone-base, and a solid plastic handle. The head portion is permanently affixed to the handle to form the standard 1-piece floral bouquet holder. One of the functions of the head portion is to hold a block of wettable floral foam. This floral foam is positioned inside the head in such a manner that it is secured inside the volume created by the cone/cage structure. The floral foam is the medium where the stems of the flowers are inserted and kept in place for the bouquet arrangement. The handle and head portions are integrally joined at the bottom of the cone base.

These standard 1-piece hand-held bouquet holders are individually sold to flower shops and floral bouquet artists/designers where the actual flower bouquets are made by first wetting the foam medium and then inserting the stems of the flowers through the openings in the cage and into the wettable floral foam medium, according to customer orders and creators preference.

While this standard 1-piece bouquet holder functions reasonable well to hold a bouquet of flowers, it suffers from certain disadvantages associated with the 1-piece construction. Since the bouquet holders are generally made from opaque plain white plastic, the handle is not very eye appealing and it's lack of texture makes it slippery to grasp. Thus, to make the handle more aesthetically appealing, and to make the plastic handle less slippery, the floral artist/designer usually decorates the handle with colorful woven ribbons, charms, trinkets, and other ornaments. The handle decorating however must be done after the flowers are arranged into the cage of the 1-piece bouquet holder. If the decorating of the handle is done prior to the insertion of the flowers into the foam cage of a 1-piece bouquet holder, water will run on the decorated handle. The physical insertion of the flower stems into the cage displaces the water inside the wettable foam, and the displaced water seeps/drips out from the cage and dampens, discolors, and eventually ruins the pre-decorated handle. Therefore, the handle decorating must be done after the flowers have been arranged. To perform the handle decorating after the flowers have been arranged however is a very cumbersome and time-consuming task. It becomes an exacting and tedious task because the arranged flowers always get in the way. Moreover, because of the difficulties of decorating the handle after the flowers are arranged, sometimes the arranged flowers get damaged while attempting to decorate the handle. Correcting the floral damage may again dampen the partially decorated and completed handle. Storage of 1-piece bouquet holders is also difficult. When storing a completed bouquet inside of a refrigerator with the 1-piece bouquet holder, the decorated handle absorbs moisture that is present in the air inside the reefer and becomes dampened, discolored and possibly ruined. Storage of 1-piece bouquet holders also takes up more refrigerator space then necessary because completed bouquets must be placed on stands to hold the bouquets.

What is needed in the field is a bouquet holder with a head portion that can be detached from the handle, so that construction and storage of the floral, head portion and decoration of the handle do not interfere with each other. The ideal 2-piece bouquet holder would include a secondary water source in the handle to supplement the moisture in the head portion that is provided to the flowers.

An ideal bouquet decorating system would also include a stand that connects to the head portion of the bouquet. The ideal stand would adjust in height and also bend to different angles to allow the decorator maximum access to all areas of the head portion.

The ideal bouquet system would also include a storage unit for storing head portions in a refrigerator and not letting the flowers become dehydrated. The ideal system would also include a secondary display unit for displaying bouquets even after the formal ceremonies have ended.

The ideal bouquet system will also have the option to add functional accessories that make the bouquet holder more versatile and functional. The ability to add accessories will enable manufacturers to add an endless line of new products and will enable the floral supply store and florist to create an entire section of new products in their wedding department.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A versatile and multi-functional 2-piece bouquet holder that is adapted for holding and hydrating a floral bouquet. The bouquet holder comprises a head portion and a handle. The head portion has an upper section and a lower section. The upper section of the head includes an external structure and an internal medium for holding and hydrating the floral bouquet. The lower section of the head includes the first half of an attachment mechanism. The handle comprises a top portion and an interior. The top portion of the handle includes the second half of the attachment mechanism and allows the top of the handle to releasably attach to the lower section of the head portion. The interior of the handle includes a hydrating solution that can selectively be used to re-hydrate the internal medium and the floral bouquet.

In the preferred embodiment, the external structure of the head portion is a cage-like structure that extends across a top of the head portion and allows stems and other items to be inserted into the internal medium but prevents the internal medium from falling out of the head portion. The internal medium of the head portion is wettable florist foam. The attachment mechanism is preferably a screw mechanism, wherein the bottom of the head portion acts like a bolt and top of the handle acts like the nut. Of course, other attachment mechanisms, such as a locking snap-on mechanism, a locking clip type mechanism, and insertion locking mechanism, could also be used. The lower section of the head portion includes a hydrating tube that extends from the bottom of the head portion to the internal medium. The hydrating tube provides a conduit between the hydrating solution in the handle and the internal medium. The handle preferably includes a replaceable hydration cartridge. The hydration cartridge comprises a container for holding the hydrating solution and a long, narrow tip that is designed to extend through the hydrating tube. The tip of the hydration cartridge contains a break-off portion which, when broken off creates an opening in the hydration cartridge. After an opened hydration cartridge has been inserted in the handle and the bouquet holder is turned upside-down, the hydrating solution will travel by gravity to the floral foam, upon removal of a release seal. Thus allowing selective re-hydration of the internal medium and the floral bouquet, via the hydrating tube.

The separate bouquet handle can be pre-made and pre-decorated in advance of construction of the floral bouquet. The decorated handle can be attached to an arranged head portion of the bouquet when needed. Different bouquet handles can be “tried on” to visually see which one best suits the particular arrangement.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a unique floral bouquet that comprises two pieces, a head portion and a handle, wherein each of the two pieces is multi-functional and may be exquisitely decorated.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a removable head portion that can be attached to an adjustable stand during decoration, placed onto a hydrating storage unit for storage in a refrigerator, and that can be attached to a hydrating display unit and used as a table decoration.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a removable bouquet handle that can be decorated away from the floral, head portion, and attached to the head portion after the head portion has been completed.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a bouquet handle that can house a secondary water source that provides selective, additional re-hydration of the flowers in the head portion.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide a bouquet holder with an option to add functional accessories that make the bouquet holder more versatile and functional.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention of the present application will now be described in more detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, given only by way of example, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side view of the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the preferred embodiment with a decorated handle;

FIG. 3 is a side view of two adjustable stands with a head portion temporarily attached to each stand;

FIG. 4 is a side and top view of a storage trough for two head portions;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional side view of a handle with an optional hydration cartridge;

FIG. 6 is a side and top view of circular display trough that allows the head portion to be used as a table decoration or as a decoration for any flat surface;

FIGS. 7 & 8 show attachment devices that allow for attachment of accessories to the present bouquet holder;

FIGS. 9 & 10 show a stand accessory that can be attached to the preferred embodiment;

FIGS. 11 & 12 show other accessories that can be added to the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 13 shows a decorative skirt for the head portion;

FIG. 14 shows a mesh skirt that provides for additional decorating of the head portion;

FIG. 15 shows a tray-skirt that provides for additional decorating of the head portion;

FIG. 16 shows a supplemental piece of wettable foam that fits around the head portion;

FIG. 17 shows a Prior Art “natural look” bouquet holder;

FIG. 18 shows a secondary handle that can be attached to the preferred embodiment to provide a “natural look” bouquet holder;

FIG. 19 shows another secondary handle that can be attached to the preferred embodiment to provide a “natural look” bouquet holder; and,

FIG. 20 shows a handle/coupler that allows a bouquet head to be attached to other support structures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows a side view of the preferred embodiment 100, which includes a multi-functional head portion 115 and a multi-functional handle 130. The head portion 115 includes an amount of wettable foam 105 and indentation 110 for holding the main floral head unit. The lower section of the head portion 115 includes a hydration tube 120 and threads 125. The hydration tube 120 accepts a hydration needle (shown in FIG. 5) which leads from a secondary hydration source (also shown in FIG. 5) that is stored in the handle 130. The threads 125 are used to connect, and disconnect, the head portion 115 to the handle 130. Complimentary threads are also provided in the upper section of the handle 130. This design allows the handle 130 to be screwed onto, and off of, the bottom of the head portion 115. Of course, other attachment mechanism such as a locking snap-on mechanism, a locking clip type mechanism, and an insertion locking mechanism, can also be employed. When the head portion 115 is not attached to the handle 130, the head portion can be attached to a stand that assists in creating the bouquet, or placed in a storage or display unit, each of which is designed to keep the flowers hydrated. When the handle 130 is not attached to the head portion 115, the handle can be going through the decoration process, either by professional and amateur artisans. Since the artisans do not have to worry about damaging any flowers, the handles can be elaborately decorated.

FIG. 2 shows the present 2-piece bouquet holder with a decorated handle 200. Handles can be elaborately decorated with many different materials 205, and since the handle can be decorated away from the floral portion of the bouquet, there is no threat of damaging any of the decorative materials 205 during construction of the floral portion. In FIG. 2 the materials 205 used to decorate the handle also cover the lower part of the head portion 115. Such a decorative handle does not interfere with the re-hydrating ability of the handle, and provides a keepsake to the holder that will last long after the flowers have gone.

FIG. 3 shows a stand 300 that can assist in decorating the head portion 115 of the bouquet. The stand 300 includes a base 320 that provides stability and two adjustable arms 315. The upper portion 305 of the arms is similar to the upper portion of the present handle, meaning that it includes a connecting system that is complementary to that on the head portion 115. Thus, a head portion can be temporarily attached to the upper portion 305 each arm 315. To assist the florist, the arms 315 can be adjusted in height and angle. Each arm of the stand 300 includes a bendable section 310 that allows the florist to angle the head portion 115 of the bouquet to any angle desired. In the past, while creating a floral bouquet, artists would set the bouquet holder into a cylindrical upright tube and the bouquet holder would simply sit on top of the cylindrical tube. The height of the tube could not be adjusted and neither could the angle at which the bouquet holder sits be adjusted. Thus, it was difficult for the artist to view the bouquet that he/she was creating, from different heights and angles. The artist attempting to view the bouquet at a specific angle and height must either move his/her position, grab and move the actual stand, or take the entire bouquet out of the stand. Bending and stretching is physically strenuous, moving the actual bouquet stand, and taking the bouquet out of its stand has risks of damaging the arranged flowers. If the artist can freely move the bouquet and thus view the bouquet being created from different heights and angles whenever he/she chooses, the artist may be able to create a more appealing and well-balanced bouquet. Further, if the heights and angles of the bouquet being made can be adjusted, it would make the process of inserting the flower stems into the cage much easier because the bouquet can be moved to face the point of insertion into the line of sight. Presently because many of the flowers are not being inserted from the line of sight, stems get broken while inserting them into the foam medium. Further, all flower stems are not being inserted towards the center of the foam medium. Being able to insert all flowers towards the center of the foam medium makes the completed bouquet more sturdy and rigid, more easily evenly hydrate-able, and more visually well balanced. It is therefore an object of this invention that with the new 2-piece bouquet holder be provided with a flexible stand 300 whereby the head portion 115 of the 2-piece bouquet holder can be attached to the stand. The stand providing ease of adjusting the bouquet position while arranging. In the preferred embodiment, the stand includes a flexible portion much like the flexible neck of a bendable “snake” handle that is used in bendable flashlights and shower head necks. The supporting arms of the preferred stand are also telescoping, making their height adjustable. In an alternative embodiment, the entire arm, not only a portion of it is be made of the flexible neck material. This “flexible stand” would also allow the artist to adjust the bouquet to any height and angle.

Regarding storage of completed bouquets, traditionally after a floral bouquet is completed, to preserve its freshness, the entire bouquet is refrigerated. Inside of the refrigerator, the completed bouquet is either stored inside of a box, or placed onto a cylindrical bouquet holder for storage. In both scenarios, storage of the bouquets takes up a lot of refrigerator space and more importantly, dehydration begins instantly. In traditional storage methods, there is no water source to replace the water that is lost via evaporation through the petals of the flowers in the bouquet. FIG. 4 shows a hydrating storage device 400 that can be used with the head portions 115 of the present bouquet holder. The head portions 115 of the present bouquet holder includes a hydrating tube 120 to physically get water 405 to the wettable foam 105 inside the head portion. It is another object of the present invention to provide the 2-piece bouquet holder with a hydrating storage unit for storing arranged & completed bouquet head portion(s) in a refrigerator. The hydrating storage unit automatically hydrates the wettable foam 105 of the head portion 115 with hydration supplied in the storage unit via the hydrating tube 120. The hydrating storage unit 400 conserves on refrigerator space and keeps the flowers fully hydrated until the time of use. The storage unit 400 also negates the need for hydration by syringe, therefore the risk of damaging the flowers is eliminated. Further, the risk of damaging decorated handles is eliminated because a decorated handle will be added after the head portion is removed from the storage unit, just prior to use.

FIG. 5 shows the interior of the preferred handle 130. Traditionally, after the bouquet is in the hands of the bride, re-hydration of the flowers is usually not an option and re-hydration of the flowers is not even given consideration. After a few hours the arranged floral bouquet that was vibrant with freshness begins to wilt and deteriorate due to lack of hydration. It is another object of the present invention to provide the 2-piece bouquet holder 100 with a hydrating handle 130 that houses a replaceable re-hydration cartridge 500. The re-hydration cartridge 500 is inserted into, and removed from, the handle 130 via an opening in the bottom of the handle. The tip 505 of the re-hydration cartridge 500 contains a break-off portion 510 (much like that is used in single-use eye drop medications) which, when broken off creates an opening at the tip of hydration cartridge. In the preferred embodiment, the break-off portion 510 is broken off prior to insertion into the handle 130 however, other embodiments allow for breaking of the portion 510 after insertion, upon a swift hit of the hand on the bottom of the handle 130, for example. The tip 505 of the re-hydration cartridge 500 provides a directed flow path for the hydrating solution. After the head portion 115 and the handle 130 are attached, the re-hydration cartridge 500 is inserted into the bottom of the handle. The re-hydration cartridge 500 locks in place inside the handle 130 via snap lock 520, or any other well-known method. Upon insertion, the tip 505 of the re-hydration cartridge 500 pierces a seal 525 at the bottom of the head portion 115 and extends through the hydrating tube 120 of the head portion. The tip 505 of the re-hydration cartridge 500 is a small tube that provides a conduit for water to travel from the interior of the cartridge 500 to the wettable foam 105. When the re-hydration cartridge 500 is fully inserted, the tip 505 extends into the wettable foam 105. When the entire embodiment 100 is turned upside-down or angled downward, and the suction release seal 515 is removed, the hydrating solution discharges into the wettable foam 105. The entire bouquet should be turned upside-down for a several seconds for optimal effect and to allow the wettable foam 105 to absorb the hydrating solution. The suction release seal 515 is preferable replaceable so as to prevent any un-absorbed solution from leaking back out of the bottom of the cartridge 500. Thus, two or three hours into a ceremony, when the wettable foam is no longer wet, the present bouquet holder allows the flowers to be re-hydrated thereby extending the life of the floral bouquet.

The present handle can be provided in both straight and angled styles. Traditionally, the first step in the creation of a bouquet is to choose the bouquet holder. The size of the bouquet holder (small, medium, large) needs to be decided, then the style of bouquet holder (straight or angle) needs to be chosen. Once a bouquet holder is chosen and a bouquet is started using a traditional 1-piece holder, the style (angle/straight) cannot be changed. It is another object of the present invention to provide a 2-piece bouquet holder, wherein handle style (straight or angled) can be changed according to preference, after the bouquet has been completed. A handle with either style (straight or angle) can be attached to the head portion after the artist/creator has had the opportunity to try both styles and choose a preference.

After a traditional bouquet has been used at a wedding, or other, ceremony, the bouquet must either be kept as is, or discarded. It is another object of the present invention to offer alternative uses for the floral bouquets after a ceremony has ended by providing display units for the head portion(s) of the bouquet(s). The present display units, in combination with one or more head portions, provide an alternative display method for floral arrangements. FIG. 6 shows an exemplary display unit 600, which includes a water reservoir 405 and an opening that accommodates the head portion 115 of the preferred 2-piece bouquet holder. The display unit 600 provides water to the wettable foam inside the head portion 115 via the hydrating tube 120 within the head portion. A second opening 605 is provide on the top of the display unit 600 that allows the unit to be refilled with water. Other display units can be made to any size or shape, and can be decorated in any fashion. The present display units allow the present head portions to live a second life, for a few additional days, as a floral display on a table or window sill in the home or office, or even in a yacht or RV.

The present 2-piece bouquet holder provides many benefits to the holder/user and to the florist. When a traditional 1-piece bouquet is stored inside of a refrigerator the decorated handle absorbs moisture that is present in the air inside the reefer and becomes dampened, discolored, and ruined. The present 2-piece bouquet holder allows the completed bouquet to be stored separately from the handle. Thereby eliminating the problem of the decorated handle becoming dampened during storage. The present 2-piece bouquet holder will also allow the manufacturer to sell pre-decorated bouquet handles, as an additional product, and possibly as keepsakes. This increase in product offerings will also benefit floral shops as assorted pre-decorated handles will attract new customers. The new 2-piece bouquet holder also allows the floral artist to complete the floral bouquet within a shorter period of time, because the time needed to decorate the handle is saved. The present 2-piece bouquet holder further allows the artist to make a higher quality finished bouquet because the arrangement will not be subjected to any risk of damage while the handle is decorated. After completion of the bouquet, with the 2piece bouquet holder, the artist will be able to choose the most appealing handle for the particular bouquet that was just created. Traditionally, once the ceremonies are over, the entire bouquet is eventually discarded. After the flowers are wilted, the bouquet holder has no value as the traditional handle was just a piece of plastic that was mass-produced. With the present 2-piece bouquet holder, user added value is created because the decorated handle can be removed and be kept as a keepsake or even used again at a child's wedding, for example. A new area of business can be developed in the field of accessories, “the design, production, and sale of decorated bouquet handles”. Floral designers, jewelry designers, accessory designers, and hobbyists can participate and enjoy a new area whereby additional revenues can be generated. This new opportunity offers unlimited possibilities because bouquet holder handles of famous brand name designers can be conceived. Differing countries throughout the world have unique cultures, artifacts and materials. Each country could make use of their own culture, unique materials and unique technologies to create their own style for decorating their bouquet holders.

Another problem with traditional bouquet holders is that they only function as a device to house floral foam and provide a simple handle to grasp and hold the bouquet. It is an object of this invention to add additional functionality to bouquet holders by devising a method to add functional accessories. The ability to add-on these functional accessories to the present bouquet holder will offer new methods to floral designers and floral artists to create more decorative pieces because these new add-on accessories will give them the needed hardware to be more creative and imaginative. The add-on accessories will also make the bouquet holder more versatile and functional for the bride.

FIG. 7 shows an attachment device 700 that can be used to connect accessories to the present bouquet holder. The attachment device 700 includes a washer-like plate 705 and a hinge-like connector 710, to which various accessories may be attached. The washer-like plate 705 is placed between the head portion 115 and the handle 130 and is secured in place when the head portion and the handle are connected together. The plate 705 has a hole in its center so that it fits between the head portion and the handle and does not interfere with the any of the hydrating functions of the present bouquet holder.

FIG. 8 shows another attachment device 800 that can be used to connect accessories to the present bouquet holder. This attachment device 800 includes a small cone 805 and a hinge-like connector 810, to which various accessories may be attached. The small cone 805 is designed to be slid up the length of the handle 130 until it locks into place near the top of the handle either by friction, a compression ring, snap-lock, or other well-known locking mechanism.

The above two attachment devices can be used to attach various accessories to the present bouquet holder, including a portable bouquet holder stand. In the past, when a bride wants to set her bouquet down on a table or chair, she must lay the entire bouquet down on its side. However, when the bouquet is laid down, the flowers on the bottom side are forced against the table and get crushed because they must support the weight of the entire bouquet. It is an object of this invention to provide a portable “Bouquet Holder Stand” accessory that is incorporated into the 2-piece bouquet holder.

FIGS. 9(A-F) show a foldable stand 900 that can be attached to the preferred embodiment 100 with the aid of a washer-type attachment device 905. The stand 900 includes two foldable legs 910 that are attached to the washer-type device 905 by two hinges 915. The stand 900 supports the floral bouquet, when the bouquet must be put down, and keeps all of the flowers in the bouquet from touching the table. This stand 900, when not deployed, folds flush onto the handle and out of the way. When deployed, the legs 910 of the stand 900 fold outward and lock into the outward position to support the bouquet on its side. The stand can attach to the bouquet holder 100 using either of the two attachment devices mentioned above.

FIG. 10 shows another stand 1000 that can be added to the present bouquet holder 100 using a cone-type attachment device 1005. This stand 1000 includes the cone-type attachment device 1005 and two foldable legs 1010 that are attached to the cone-type device 1005 by two hinges 1015. The hinges 1015 allow the legs 1010 to fold flush against the handle 130 portion of the bouquet. The hinges 1015 also allow the legs 1010 to swing out from the handle and lock into place, so that the legs 1010 can support the bouquet in a semi-upright position when placed on a flat surface.

FIG. 11 shows a wrist strap 1100 accessory that can be added to the preferred embodiment 100. The wrist strap 1100 includes an washer type attachment device 1105 and a loop 1110 of cord or other material that is connected to the washer type device 1105 by a connector hinge 1115. The loop 1110 is large enough for a person's hand to fit through and the hinge allows the loop 1110 to rotate relative to the rest of the bouquet.

FIG. 12 shows a pouch 1200 accessory that has been added to the present bouquet holder 100 using a cone type attachment device 1205. The pouch 1200 includes the cone type device 1205 and a small, close-able bag 1210 that is connected to the device 1205 by a hinge 1215. The cone attachment device 1205 is slid up the length of the handle and locks in place by friction, in the preferred embodiment. The close-able bag 1210 allows the bride to carry small items, such as a compact and lipstick, with her.

FIG. 13 shows a decorative skirt 1300 that can be added to the preferred embodiment 100, to further decorate the head portion 115 of the bouquet holder. the decorative skirt 1300 includes a washer type attachment device 1305, a decorative outer covering 1310, and an empty interior 1315 that allows for placement of the head portion 115.

FIG. 14 shows a mesh skirt 1400 that allows for additional decorating of the head portion 115. The mesh skirt 1400 includes a washer type attachment device 1405, a mesh outer covering 1410, and an empty interior 1415 that allows for placement of the head portion 115. The floral artist can add many different materials to the mesh outer covering 1410 to enhance the look of the bouquet.

FIG. 15 shows a circular tray 1500 that can be attached to the preferred embodiment 100. The tray 1500 provides for additional decorating of the head portion 115 and includes a washer type attachment device 1510, a flat-bottom bowl 1505 that serves as the tray, and an empty interior that allows for placement of the head portion 115 of the bouquet holder 100.

FIG. 16 shows a supplemental piece of wettable foam 1600 that can be added to the present 2-piece bouquet holder 100. The supplemental foam 1600 includes a washer type attachment device, a ring of wettable foam 1605 and an empty interior for accepting the head portion 115 of the bouquet holder. The supplemental piece of wettable foam 1600 fits around the head portion 115 and gives the floral artist a larger “canvas” with which to create a floral work of art.

Recently, the “natural look” of floral bouquets has come back into fashion. A “natural look” bouquet consists of a group of flowers where the stems of the flowers are not cut but kept long and the flowers are just bunched and tied together with a ribbon, a wrap, or other decorative material. Natural look bouquets however have a disadvantage because the cut ends of the floral stems are exposed and not immersed in a hydration medium. The flowers making up a “natural look” bouquet are subject to quicker dehydration due to lack of a continuous source of hydration. Therefore the “natural look” bouquet has a shorter life span than other bouquets. To overcome this quick deterioration, a cylinder shaped floral foam holder has been devised and marketed. FIG. 17 shows an example of such a prior art cylindrical foam holder 1700. The flowers 1710 are cut at an intermediate length and the flowers are inserted into the hydrated floral foam 1705 at the top of the cylinder. The stems that were cut off of the flowers to make the flowers intermediate in length, are then re-bunched and inserted into the bottom end of the cylinder. The floral foam containing cylinder 1700 is then covered with ribbon or wrapped with some other decorative material. The resulting bouquet looks like a “natural look”, un-cut stem bouquet.

The above prior art method of depicting a natural-look bouquet using a cylindrical foam holder however has many disadvantages. It is a difficult, tedious, and cumbersome task to cover and decorate the cylinder portion because the decorating and covering must be done after the flowers have been inserted into the foam and after the cut stems pieces have been inserted into the bottom end of the cylinder. This task usually requires two people to complete. One person to hold the entire bouquet while the other person tapes, wraps, and decorates the cylinder. Further, there is no method to re-hydrate the flowers after the moisture from the floral foam inside the cylinder has been depleted. It is yet another object of this invention to provide a bouquet holder where the handle portion depicts a “natural-look” bouquet.

FIG. 18 shows a secondary handle 1800 that can be slid onto the handle 130 of the present bouquet holder to provide a “natural look” bouquet. The secondary handle 1800 includes a decorative outer covering 1805, a central passageway 1810 that accepts the handle 130, and a circular recess 1815 around the bottom of the secondary handle that accepts cut stems 1820. The top of the secondary handle 1800 includes a notch 1825 that is design to catch on the top of the primary handle 130 when fully inserted. The circular recess 1815 allows a ring of stems 1820 to protrude from the bottom of the bouquet, thereby giving a “natural look” to the present bouquet holder. The circular recess 1815 preferably is tapered so that the stems 1820 are slightly compacted as they are inserted and can be held in the recess 1815 by friction. The secondary handle 1800 is removable at any time for various reasons such as to change the appearance from ‘natural’ to ‘holder-type’ or for the purpose of changing out the re-hydration cartridge.

FIG. 19 shows another secondary handle 1900 that can be slid onto the handle 130 of the present holder to provide a “natural look” bouquet. This secondary handle 1900 includes a decorative outer material 1905, a central passageway 1910 that accepts the primary handle 130, and a large recess 1915 in the bottom that accepts cut stems 1920. The large recess 1915 allows the cut stems 1920 to be bunched together before being inserted into the bottom of the secondary handle 1900. Since the stems 1920 protruding from the bottom of the bouquet holder are bunched together, a “natural look” bouquet is achieved. Secondary handle 1900 also includes a notch 1925 at the top that catches on the top of the primary handle 130 when fully inserted. The large recess 1915 preferably is tapered so that the stems 1920 are slightly compacted as they are inserted and can be held in the recess 1915 by friction.

FIG. 20 shows a versatile coupler 2000 that allows a head portion 115 to be attached to various support structures and may also provide another “natural look” bouquet. The coupler 200 includes a decorative outer cover 2005, a first female attachment unit 2010 at the top, and a second female attachment unit 2015 at the bottom. The first female attachment unit 2010 is designed to accept the male attachment unit on the bottom of the head portion 115. The second female attachment unit 2015 on the bottom of the couple 2000 can be used to attach the coupler to a male connector on a post, a railing, a pew, or a stand, for example. A bunch of cut stems may also be inserted into the second female attachment unit 2015 to provide another “natural look” bouquet. The coupler 2000 is designed to have a larger diameter than the preferred handle 130 so as to enhance the illusion of un-cut stems in the bouquet. The coupler 2000 could also house a re-hydration unit that supplements hydration of the flowers in the head portion 115. The present coupler 2000 adds to the versatility of the decorative head portion 115 by facilitating display of the bouquet before and after wedding ceremonies.

The foregoing description of the specific embodiments will so fully reveal the general nature of the invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments without departing from the generic concept. Therefore, such adaptations and modifications should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments. It is to be understood that the phraseology of terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.