Title:
Foldable Insert for Flower Vases
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A foldable, cylinder-shaped or truncated cone-shaped insert with two planar surfaces for a flower vase for accommodating flowers and water. The insert is made of at least one waterproof material, and a compressible water reservoir is provided on one of the planar surfaces of the insert.



Inventors:
Nowack, Tetiana (Berlin, DE)
Application Number:
14/762906
Publication Date:
12/17/2015
Filing Date:
01/21/2014
Assignee:
NOWACK TETIANA
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G7/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LARSEN, JEFFREY R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE WEBB LAW FIRM, P.C. (PITTSBURGH, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A foldable, cylinder-shaped or truncated cone-shaped insert, which can be folded along its longitudinal extension with two planar surfaces for a flower vase for accommodating flowers and water made of at least one waterproof material, wherein a compressible water reservoir is provided on one of the planar surfaces of the insert.

2. The insert for a flower vase according to claim 1, wherein the insert consists of multiple material layers, wherein at least one material layer is waterproof.

3. The insert for a flower vase according to claim 1, wherein the insert consists of at least one water-proof outer material and at least one cellulose containing inner material.

4. The insert for a flower vase according to claim 3, wherein the outer material consists of a plastic material.

5. The insert for a flower vase according to claim 3, wherein the at least one outer material and the at least one inner material are flatly connected to each other.

6. The insert for a flower vase according to claim 3, wherein the outer material is provided with a decor or is single-colored.

7. The insert for a flower vase according to claim 1, wherein additionally a horizontal foldable section is provided which is arranged between the insert foldable along its longitudinal extension and the compressible water reservoir.

8. The insert for a flower vase according to claim 1, wherein the water reservoir and the insert are connected waterproof to each other.

9. The insert for a flower vase according to claim 1, wherein the water reservoir is a compressible tube.

10. The insert for a flower vase according to claim 1, wherein the water reservoir receives at least half of the water which is in the vase insert.

11. The insert for a flower vase according to claim 1, wherein the water reservoir has an opening in its base.

12. The insert for a flower vase according to claim 1, further comprising at least one supporting element.

13. The insert for a flower vase according to claim 12, wherein the supporting element comprises at least one first support ring.

14. The insert for a flower vase according to claim 13, wherein the supporting element comprises at least two supporting members connected to the first supporting ring, wherein the supporting members extend away from the first supporting ring.

15. The insert for a flower vase according to claim 14, wherein the at least two supporting members are connected to at least one further second supporting ring at their ends opposite to the first supporting ring.

Description:

The invention relates to a foldable insert for a flower vase according to the preamble of claim 1.

DESCRIPTION

The presentation of flowers and other vases also in closed rooms enjoys unbroken popularity. For this reason the flowers are combined in form of flower bouquets and are kept fresh in water in suitable vases for a longer time.

The shelf life of flowers in vases is, however, limited in time. In particular, due to the biological origin of the flowers an increased growth of microorganism in the water being in the flower vase or at the flower stems being in the water occurs after a certain time, which amongst others depends on the type of used flowers. Furthermore, the formation of biofilms of the microorganism can occur on the vase walls, what can cause an undesired odor nuisance after a certain time period. Besides the increased growth of microorganism, also other pieces of the flowers can collect in the waste container and promote the growth of microorganism.

In order to avoid these undesirable side effects and in order to prolong the shelf life of the flowers the water contained in the vase is usually changed multiple times. Nevertheless, the shelf life of flowers in flower vases is limited such that the disposal thereof is necessary after a certain time period. Due to the described accumulation of microorganisms in the flower water and on the walls of the used flower vase the disposal of a used or faded flower bouquet can be accompanied for the user with strong unpleasant smell and contaminations. Depending on shape and geometry of the used flower vase a purification of the flower vase can also be tedious and time consuming.

Based on this problem there is thus the desire for a simple disposal of flower bouquets from flower vases with reduced contamination or which is completely free of contamination.

Accordingly, the object of the present invention is to provide a device, which allows for a simple, clean and flexible disposal of used flowers.

This object is solved according to the invention by a foldable insert for a flower vase with the features of claim 1.

Accordingly, a foldable insert for a flower vase is provided, which is suitable for accommodating flowers and water and consists of at least one waterproof material. The insert, which is foldable along its longitudinal extension (i.e., along its height) has a cylindrical or truncated cone shape with two planar or flat surfaces being parallel to each other. According to the present invention, a compressible water reservoir is furthermore provided on one of the planar or flat surfaces of the insert.

The present foldable insert for a flower vase consist thus of two sections: A first section comprises a cylindrical or truncated cone-shaped insert, which is folded along its longitudinal extension or height before insertion into the flower vase and which unfolds depending on geometry and volume of the flower vase after insertion into the flower vase completely or at least partially. A second section of the insert comprises a compressible water reservoir, which is provided on one of the planar or flat surfaces of the insert and which is connected thereto.

The present foldable insert comprises two planes, which are parallel to each other, which in each case can be defined as an open, upper end and as a closed, lower end. In case of a cylindrical shaped insert the two planes or openings have the same size, whereat in case of a truncated cone-shaped insert both planes or openings are of different size.

The present waterproof foldable insert can be adapted to any vase form. The insert comprises preferably a one-piece foldable or squeezable cut. Due to the flexibility of the insert it can adapt to a multiple different shapes and is thus suitable for multiple flower vases with different geometries and dimensions. It is to be pointed out that the present insert is not suitable for use as stand-alone flower vase (for instance as a transport flower vase) due to the flexible material, but receives the required support by the used flower vase.

Due to the arrangement of a water reservoir on one of the two planes or openings of the insert, the insert can also be described such that it is open on one side, for instance upwards, whereby the section or opening of the insert is to be regarded as being on top, through which the flowers and the water are introduced or inserted into the insert. Downwards, i.e. in opposite direction, the insert is in contrast closed due to the water reservoir. Typically, the insert is introduced with the closed end, on which the water reservoir is provided, at first into the flower vase such that the water reservoir is supported by the floor of the vase.

In an embodiment, the present insert for a flower vase consists of multiple material layers, wherein at least one of the used material layers comprises a water-proof material. In a preferred embodiment, the insert comprises at least one water-proof outer material and at least one cellulose containing inner material. Thereby, the at least one outer material and the at least one inner material can be flatly connected to each other.

It is, in particular, preferable if the outer material of the insert consists of a plastic material, wherein the outer material is such that it can provide a stiffness to the insert. A particular suitable outer material is thereby a foldable plastic, as used, for instance, in plastic blankets or also as coating material of diapers or the same.

It is also possible that the outer material is provided with a decor or is single-colored. Accordingly, the decorative design of the foldable insert for flower vases is not limited and a diverse area of application is possible.

It can also be provided that the inner material of the present insert is coated with a nutrition or with another substance in order to increase the shelf life of the flowers.

In a further preferred embodiment the present insert is folded in at least one direction, in particular in direction along its height, i.e., the insert is folded preferably along its heights of its cylindrical shape or truncated cone-shape. After introducing the insert into a vase, the folding of the insert can also be described such that it is vertical along the vase's height.

Accordingly, the present foldable insert is then folded preferably along the vertical of the vase, i.e., the insert is folded preferably elongated. However, an additional horizontal folding of the insert is in general also conceivable.

The present insert is thereby preferably folded such that it unfolds automatically vertical along the vase's height after introduction into the vase and thus adapts automatically to the form of the vase by unfolding. The folding of the insert can be in form of multiple foldings as, for instance, known from pleated material.

The length of the insert can be adapted to the height of the vase practically by removing a section of the insert, as for instance, by simply cutting off or shortening the insert.

In a preferred embodiment of the present insert an additional third section is provided between the first section of vertical foldable material and the second section in form of the compressible water reservoir, which serves for adapting the height or the length of the insert to the used flower vase. Thereby, a cutting of the vertical foldable material section can be avoided. Said additional third section can also be seen as an insertion between the first and the second section, which is made preferably of another material than the first vertical foldable section. It is essential that the material of the third inserted section is also foldable or compressible, whereby the foldability of the third section is horizontally or horizontally determined. The third insert section can thus be folded along the vase height or can also be compressed. The material of the third section, for example, elastic synthetic material comprises preferably knobs or grooves which allow an adherence of the third section and thus of the whole insert to the inner side of the flower vase.

As previously mentioned, the present foldable insert has a water reservoir on one plane as for instance on its closed end. The water reservoir and the insert are thereby preferably connected to each other watertight or waterproof. The water reservoir serves in particular for receiving the water being in the flower vase insert.

The water reservoir can have different designs, wherein it is preferably present in form of a compressible or foldable tube. If the vase insert is in the vase during use, i.e. the vase insert is filled with water, the water reservoir in form of a tube is preferably present in its compressed form. In this compressed position, the tube as a water reservoir does not contain any water. Only when the insert is taken out or removed from the vase, then the tube is decompressed or defolded due to the water flowing into the tube from the insert.

The water reservoir is preferably able to take up at least half of the water being in the flower insert. In other words, the tube-like water reservoir has preferably a volume so that at least half of the water being in the vase insert can be taken up by the tube-like water reservoir.

In case that the water reservoir is present in form of a compressible or foldable tube, said reservoir is made of a tear resistant plastic material which does not have any cracks also after a multiple use of the vase insert. In order to allow an effective compressing or folding of the tube rings made of a solid material as for instance a plastic or metal containing material are integrated into the tube material. Due to the integrated rings a simple and comfortable compressing or folding of the water reservoir is possible.

In a further variant, the water reservoir has an opening in its base. Accordingly, the tube-like water reservoir comprises an opening at its base, i.e., the side of the water reservoir being opposite to the insert. The water being in the water reservoir can be drained through said opening out of the reservoir and thus out of the flower vase insert.

In a further modification of the present insert for a flower vase said insert comprises at least one supporting element. Said supporting element, which is also designated as shape forming element, guarantees the shape stability of the foldable insert after introducing the same into a flower vase. The supporting element can be integrated into the material of the insert or can be present separately. The supporting element is, however, preferably separate from the material of the insert, what allows a multiple use of the supporting element. The supporting element serves in the inside of the insert to support or to keep the insert upright or open in the flower vase.

The supporting element comprises preferably multiple sections. Thus, the supporting element comprises at least one first supporting ring, which is preferably adapted to the open end of the insert. This first supporting ring can consist of a metal or another, preferably elastic, easily deformable material. Thus, the first supporting ring is stretchable and can be easily adapted to the upper inner circumference of the flower vase. The first supporting ring can consist for instance of multiple same-sized members or elements which are connected to each other in a hinged manner and thus can be randomly pushed against each other or can be removed or stretched from each other. The members of the first supporting ring can also have different sizes or dimensions such that a nesting of the members into each other is possible. By stretching or pulling apart the nested members the adaptation of the first supporting ring to the vase circumference can take place accordingly.

In a preferred application form, the first supporting ring is arranged at the upper end of the vase and shall provide there an opening of a pre-determined size for the flowers to be received. The size of the opening is thereby preferably adapted to the opening of the flower vase and prevents a folding or collapse of the insert. The first supporting ring can be formed as one member or also in one piece, but can also consist of multiple sections. It is essential that the first supporting ring adapts one side of the insert, in particular the upper open end of the insert, to the inner shape of the used flower vase.

In a further embodiment of the present foldable insert for a flower vase, the used supporting element comprises at least two supporting members connected to the first supporting ring, wherein said supporting members extend away from the first supporting ring, preferably in direction to the lower closed end of the insert. The supporting members are preferably in longitudinal form and extend accordingly in direction to the lower end of the insert or when the insert is used in direction to the floor of the flower vase, i.e., away from the upper end of the flower vase. The length of the at least two supporting members is preferably adjustable and thus adaptable to the respective vase length. The adaptation of the length adjustment is possible since each supporting member consists again of two sections, wherein a first section can be inserted into a second section. This is possible since the first section is made of a solid continuous plastic material, while the second section is made of a pipe like or tube-like plastic material. Accordingly, the first section can be slid into the second section and thus the length of the supporting members can be varied as desired, and can be adapted to the vase length or vase height when the insert is used.

In a further embodiment, the at least two supporting members are connected to at least one further second supporting ring at their ends opposite to the first supporting ring. Accordingly, the two supporting members when used are provided with a further second supporting ring and arranged at the closed end of the insert provided with the water reservoir, which in turn is provided at the floor of the flower vase when the insert is used.

Said second supporting ring is in contrast to the first upper supporting ring not flexible and stretchable, but consists preferably of a stiff material. The circumference of the second supporting ring is preferably smaller than the circumference of the first supporting ring. This size distribution is in particular then of an advantage if the insert is used for a flower vase tapering downwards. It is also possible that the second supporting ring has the same circumference as the first supporting ring. This would be conceivable, for example, in case of flower vases the walls thereof continue straight and parallel to each other.

A preferred way of using the present flower vase insert is described in the following.

The foldable flower insert is at first introduced in a suitable vase with the compressed closed tube-like water reservoir. The introduction of the insert into the flower vase occurs preferably upright. Optionally, it can be necessary to adapt the insert to the height of the used vase. This can be done for instance by simply cutting off the sections projecting out of the flower vase or by using an insert with a horizontal foldable third section inserted between the vertical foldable material section and the compressible water reservoir.

In order to guarantee form stability and form adaptation of the vase insert to the specific vase form, subsequently the supporting element or the form provider is introduced into the vase insert. The supporting element serves in the inside of the insert for supporting or keeping the insert upright or open in the flower vase.

By means of the first supporting ring of the supporting element, which is adaptable to the upper inner circumference of the flower vase, the upper end of the vase insert is adapted to the circumference of the opening of the flower vase in a stable manner and is thus kept open; a folding or collapsing of the insert is prevented.

The vase insert is adapted in length or height by the at least two supporting members of the supporting element to the vase form and vase height.

The supporting element remains in the following preferably in the vase insert, can, however, also be optionally removed.

After introducing and stabilizing the present flower vase insert, the flowers as for instance in form of a flower bouquet are introduced into the vase insert and parallel or subsequently the required amount of water is filled into the vase insert.

Since the outer material of the vase insert is water-proof, the water does not escape from the vase insert. Thus, a pollution of the vase with the flower water is avoided, which contains in particular after a longer use typically a tremendous amount of dirt particles and microorganisms.

If the flower bouquet shall now be disposed after a certain time period, the flower bouquet is grabbed together with the vase insert and is pulled out of the flower vase. During the step of pulling the vase insert out of the flower vase, the used water escapes into the tube-like water reservoir, which unfolds or decompresses due to the entering water. Thus, a large amount of the used dirty flower water, however, at least the half, is drained into the unfolding water reservoir.

The vase insert with flowers and the used water being in the unfolded water reservoir can subsequently be transported to a location as for instance a sink or toilet or also any other suitable container, where the used water can be drained through the opening being in the bottom of the water reservoir.

After draining the used water out of the vase insert through the opening of the water reservoir, the vase insert can be disposed together with the used or faded flowers into the household waste, preferably bio-waste. It is, however, also conceivable to clean the vase insert and to re-use it.

The present vase insert allows thus a clean use of flower bouquets without the otherwise typical pollution of flower vases as a consequence of the disposal of used flowers or flower bouquets and the used water and the sometimes therewith connected elaborate cleaning of the flower vase from microorganisms deposited therein and other components.

The invention is explained in more detail in the following with reference to the figures of the drawings by means of an example. It shows:

FIG. 1 a schematic side view of a first foldable insert for a flower vase with a compressed water reservoir in a suitable flower vase according to the invention;

FIG. 2A a further schematic side view of the first insert for a flower vase with a decompressed water reservoir after removal from a flower vase according to the invention;

FIG. 2B a schematic side view of a second insert for a flower vase with a decompressed water reservoir after removal from a flower vase according to the invention;

FIG. 3A a first supporting element for a flower vase insert according to the invention, and

FIG. 3B a second supporting element for a flower vase insert according to the invention.

A general construction of an embodiment of the foldable insert for a flower vase according to the invention is shown in FIG. 1.

Especially a foldable insert 1 according to the invention with a first upper end 1A and a lower end 1b is shown, wherein a compressible or foldable water reservoir 2 is provided at the lower end 1b of the insert 1.

In FIG. 1, the insert 1 is shown together with a compressed water reservoir 2 during the usage in a flower vase, wherein the flower vase is schematically indicated here. The insert 1 is suitable for receiving flowers and water, and consists accordingly of a water-proof outer material. The inner side of the water-proof material can consist of any material, whereby the use of a cellulose containing material is preferred here.

As seen in FIG. 1, the outer material of the insert 1 is made such that it can have multiple longitudinal foldings 1c, as, for instance, typical for a the known pleated fabrics. Due to this longitudinal folding, the insert can be pressed together and requires therefore small storage space when not used. Due to the folding, the insert can unfold after introduction into the vase automatically along the vase height and thus can adapt by unfolding to the form of the vase.

When used, flowers are introduced, for instance, in form of flower bouquets and the respective amount of required fresh water is introduced via the upper open end 1a of the insert 1 into the same. In case of the used example shown in FIG. 1, the water reservoir 2 is present in a compressed or folded form since the water reservoir 2 only unfolds its actual function after removal of the insert 1 from the flower vase.

In FIG. 2A, the present insert 1 according to the invention of FIG. 1 is shown after removal from the flower vase.

As clarified in FIG. 2A, the water reservoir unfolds or decompresses and stretches after removal of the insert 1 from the flower vase due to the water draining from the insert 1 into the water reservoir 2. In other words, when the insert filled with flowers and water is removed, for instance, for the purpose of disposal of a faded flower bouquet the water flows from the insert into the water reservoir which unfolds due to the water volume. Accordingly, the water reservoir 2 is completely filled up with the water of the insert. Due to the specific construction of the water reservoir 2 of a stretchable or flexible plastic material and the close rings incorporated there into a simple and non-complicated decompression or unfolding of the water reservoir 2 is possible.

In the embodiment of the present insert schematically illustrated in FIG. 2A, it is apparent that the water reservoir comprises an opening 3 at its lower end, i.e., at the end opposite to the lower closed end of the insert. The water can be drained through this opening 3 for empting the insert at a suitable location.

FIG. 2B shows a second embodiment of the present insert, wherein an additional, third section 8 is provided between the first section of vertical foldable material 1 and the second section in form of the water reservoir 2 decompressed here, which serves for adapting the height or length of the insert to the used flower vase. Herewith a cutting of the vertical foldable material section can be avoided. The third insert section 8 can thus unfold along the vase height (or also compressed). The material, for instance, elastic synthetic material of the third section comprises grooves, which allow for a grip of the third section 8 and thus the complete insert to the inner side of the flower vase.

In FIG. 3A, a first embodiment of the supporting element 4 is schematically illustrated. The supporting element 4 guarantees the form stability of the foldable insert after inserting the same into the flower vase.

The supporting element 4 has at least one first supporting ring 5 which can consist of a metal or another, preferably elastic, easily deformable material. The first supporting ring 5 is therefore stretchable and can be easily adapted to the upper inner circumference of the flower vase.

According to FIG. 3A, the first supporting ring can consist, for instance, of multiple same sized members or elements, which are connected to each other in a hinged manner and can thus be pressed together or removed or stretched away from each other as desired.

In further second embodiment of the supporting element 4 shown in FIG. 3B, the members of the first supporting ring 5 can also have different sizes or dimensions such that a nesting of the members into each other is possible. By stretching or pulling the nested members, the adaptation of the first supporting ring to the vase circumference can occur accordingly.

The supporting element 4 comprises at least two supporting members 6 connected to the first supporting ring 5, wherein said supporting members extend away from the first supporting ring 5 in direction to the lower closed end of the insert when used.

The supporting member 6 consists of two sections 6a, 6b which allow an adaptation of the length of the supporting members to the vase height and thus to the height of the insert one. For this reason, the first section 6a can be slid into the second section 6b. This is possible since the first section 6a is made of a solid continuous plastic material, while the second section 6b is made of a tube-like or pipe-like plastic material. Accordingly, the first section 6a can be slid into the second section 6b, and thus the length of the supporting members can be varied as desired.

Furthermore, the two supporting members 6 are connected to at least one further second supporting ring 7 at their ends opposite to the first supporting ring 5. Said second supporting ring 7 is in contrast to the first upper supporting ring 6 not flexible and stretchable, but rather consists preferably of a stiff material. In the embodiment of FIG. 3, the circumference of the second supporting ring 7 is smaller than the circumference of the first supporting ring 5, whereby the use of the supporting element 5 in a tapering flower vase is possible.