Patent application title: PLANT PRODUCT, COMPONENTS THEREFOR AND METHODS RELATING THERETO
Curt A. Shaffer (Littleton, CO, US)
Yvette Speziani (Miami, FL, US)
Dole Food Company, Inc.
Tartan Products Company, Inc.
IPC8 Class: AB65D8552FI
Class name: Special receptacle or package for a plant, flower, or tree (includes cut or artificial)
Publication date: 2010-01-14
Patent application number: 20100006461
A plant product includes a plant item and an envelope attached directly to
the plant item wherein a flat object, such as a flattened vase, an
instruction card, a storybook, a seed packet or a greeting card, is
disposed in the envelope's interior. The plant item may be wrapped in a
wrapper to which the envelope is secured, such as by an adhesive. Also
disclosed is a structure for an exemplary envelope and flattened vase
combination. A method utilizing these articles is also described. Where a
flattened vase is used, it is of a type that can be selectively
configured to an expanded state to receive the plant item.
1. A plant product comprising:a) a plant item;b) an envelope including
first and second panels joined along a portion of a peripheral margin in
closely confronting relation so as to have an interior, said envelope
being attached directly or indirectly to said plant item; andc) at least
one flat object disposed in the interior of said envelope, said at least
one flat object being selected from the group consisting of a vase, an
instruction card, a storybook, a seed packet, and a greeting card.
2. A plant product according to claim 1 wherein said envelope is tethered to said plant item.
3. A plant product according to claim 1 wherein said flat object is a vase adapted to be alternatively configureda) into a flattened state such that it may be received in the interior of said envelope, andb) into an expanded state adapted to support said plant item.
4. A plant product according to claim 1 further including a wrapper extending around said plant item.
5. A plant product according to claim 4 wherein said envelope is secured to said wrapper.
6. A plant product according to claim 5 wherein said envelope is secured to said wrapper by an adhesive material.
7. A plant product comprising:a) a plant item;b) a wrapper extending around said plant item;c) an envelope having an interior and being secured to said wrapper; andd) a vase disposed in the interior of said envelope in a received state, wherein said vase is adapted to be alternatively configured into a flattened state such that it may be received in the interior of said envelope, and into an expanded state adapted to support a plant item.
8. A plant product according to claim 7 wherein said envelope is secured to said wrapper by an adhesive material.
9. A plant product comprising:a) a plant item; andb) a vase attached directly or indirectly to said plant item, said vase being adapted to be alternatively configured into a flattened state and into an expanded state adapted to support said plant item.
10. An article of manufacture, comprising:a) an envelope including front and back panels joined along a portion of a peripheral margin in closely confronting relation so as to have an interior;b) an adhesive disposed on said back panel and adapted for securing said envelope to a surface; andc) a vase disposed in the interior of said envelope, wherein said vase is adapted to be alternatively configured into a flattened state such that it may be received in the interior of said envelope, and into an expanded state adapted to support a plant item.
11. An article of manufacture according to claim 10 further including a removable backing panel covering said adhesive.
12. An article of manufacture according to claim 10 wherein said vase is folded over itself when in the received state.
13. An article of manufacture according to claim 10 wherein said envelope is constructed of a substantially transparent material.
14. An article of manufacture according to claim 13 further comprising an instruction card disposed in the interior of said envelope, said instruction card provided with instructions correlated to configuration of said vase from the flattened state to the expanded state.
15. A method for creating a flora product comprising in any order:a) selecting a plant item;b) engaging said selected plant item with a wrapper;c) securing an envelope directly or indirectly to said selected plant item; andd) inserting a collapsed vase into said envelope, said vase being expandable to support said selected plant item.
16. A method for providing an arrangement of flora comprising in any order:a) providing a vase adapted to be alternatively configured into a flattened state and into an expanded state adapted to support a plant item;b) selecting a plant item;c) engaging said plant item with a wrapping;d) securing an envelope to said wrapping, wherein said envelope has an interior; ande) inserting said vase into the interior of said envelope while said vase is in the flattened state,such that, after completion of steps (a)-(e), a packaged product is defined.
17. The method according to claim 16 further comprising displaying said packaged product for commercial sale.
18. The method according to claim 16 further comprising the steps of:f) removing said vase from the envelope;g) configuring said vase into the expanded state; andh) placing the selected plant item in said vase such that the selected plant item is supported by said vase.
The present invention broadly related to plant products, components that may be used in creating plant products, and methods of creating plant products. In particular, the embodiments described herein contemplate a plant product, such as a floral bouquet, combined with a flat, formable vase or other flat object attached thereto.
Many people like to display flora, such as flowers or greenery, in their homes, offices and other locations in order to enjoy the colorful display and pleasant aromas associated with such bouquets. The widespread custom of giving flora, including, for example, flowers, greenery and the like, is often an expression of love, caring and/or appreciation. In addition, products incorporating flora arrays are often given or sent to persons who are experiencing personal challenges, such as illness, or who have suffered a personal loss. Such arrays of flora typically include cut flowers, living plants, dried plant sprays, etc. Where cut blossoms are included in the arrays, they usually must be placed in a water reservoir to maintain freshness. Such reservoirs typically are vases that hold water and the cut stems.
Most vases are rigid containers made of glass or rigid plastic. As such, they are bulky and consume substantial shelf and storage space. They may thus be somewhat difficult to ship. However, it is known to have a deformable vase that can be used to display cut flowers. Such vases are typically made from a flexible plastic which can be stored flat yet which, upon the introduction of warm water, can be shaped while warm and thereafter will hold that form when cooled. These vases come in a variety of sizes and are often sold in gift and floral shops as a convenient vessel for flowers that one has purchased. One such vase is called the Wondervase®, which is manufactured and marketed by Tartan Products Company of Englewood, Colo.
Typically, florists will arrange cut flowers as a floral bouquet in a sleeve for purchase. The sleeve is commonly a wrapping made of paper, foil, cellophane, or polypropylene and not only protects the bouquet, but also provides a convenient way for the consumer to handle and transport the bouquet. Usually, when the bouquet is sold in a sleeve wrapping, it is not accompanied by a vase and, as such, the flowers are not transported in water. This gives the purchaser only a limited period of time to present the bouquet to the intended recipient so that the flowers can be removed from their wrapping and placed in a vase or other water reservoir.
Accordingly, it is incumbent upon the recipient to have a vase for the purchased flowers. Depending upon the location wherein the bouquet is presented or occasion for the floral bouquet, a vase may not be readily available. Such may be the case when the recipient receives the bouquet at work or while traveling away from home. In such instances, a vase may not be readily available and the recipient then has the necessary task of finding a suitable water vessel or purchasing a vase. The embodiments disclosed herein remedy such a predicament.
It is an object of the present invention to provide new and useful plant products as well as components that may be used in the creation of such plant products.
It is another object of the invention to provide a new and useful method for creating flora products and the arrangement of flora products.
It is an aspect of the exemplary embodiments to provide a plant product that includes both a plant item and a vase to receive the plant item, especially where the vase may either be stored in a flat state or used to receive the plant item in an expanded state.
It is another aspect of these exemplary embodiments to provide such a vase secured, either directly or indirectly to the plant item.
According to one or more of the exemplary embodiments, a plant product is provided that includes a plant item. An envelope is secured directly or indirectly to the plant item, and a flat object disposed in the envelope. The envelope includes first and second panels joined along a portion of the peripheral margin in closely confronting relation so as to have an interior. The flat object that is disposed in the interior of the envelope may be, for example, a vase, an instruction card, a storybook, a seed packet, a greeting card or the like.
The envelope may be directly secured to the plant item using a tether or alternatively, the envelope may be secured to a wrapper extending around the plant. In particular, the envelope may be secured to the wrapper by a suitable adhesive material. The flat object disposed in the envelope may be a vase adapted to be alternatively configured into either a flattened state so that it can be received in the envelope and into an expanded state adapted to support the plant item.
Also provided herein is an plant product comprising an envelope including front and back panels joined along a portion of a peripheral margin in closely confronting relation so as to have an interior. An adhesive is disposed on the back panel of the envelope that is adapted for securing the envelope to a surface. Disposed within the envelope is a vase. Again, the vase is adapted to be alternatively configured into a flattened state such that it may be received in the interior of the envelope and into an expanded state adapted to support a plant item. The envelope may also include a removable layer covering the adhesive. The flattened vase may also be folded over in order to fit into a small envelope. One envelope may be constructed of a material that is either transparent of sufficiently translucent to allow objects within the envelope to be seen fully.
Also contemplated are methods for creating a floral product and for packaging an arrangement of flowers. The method for creating a floral product is comprised of selecting a plant item, engaging the plant item with the wrapper, securing an envelope directly or indirectly to the plant item, and inserting a collapsed vase into the envelope. It should be understood that these steps can be practiced in any order.
The method for packaging an arrangement of flowers is comprised of the following steps performed in any order. The steps are providing a vase adapted to be alternatively configured into a flattened state and into an expanded state adapted to support the item, selecting the plant item, engaging the plant item in a wrapper, securing an envelope to the wrapper wherein the envelope has an interior and inserting the vase into the interior of the envelope. The method for packaging arrangement of floral may also include the step of displaying the arrangement for commercial sale. It is also contemplated that the vase may be removed from the envelope and configured into an expanded state where plant items are placed in and supported by the vase.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1A is a front view in elevation of an arrangement of flora in a wrapper that has an envelope containing a vase supported thereon;
FIG. 1B is a front view in elevation of an arrangement of flora that has an envelope containing a flat object tethered thereto;
FIG. 1C is a front view in elevation of an arrangement of flora with a vase tethered thereto;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the envelope shown in FIG. 1A with a vase therein, which is shown in phantom;
FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the envelope and vase shown in FIG. 2 showing the flap in the opened state and the vase removed from the envelope interior;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the envelope shown with a corner thereof pulled back from the backing to expose the adhesive layer;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the envelope and backing taken about lines 5-5 in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a partial cross sectional view taken about lines 6-6 of FIG. 1 showing the envelope containing a vase adhered to the sleeve wrapped about the flowers;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an unfolded vase after it is removed from the envelope interior;
FIG. 8 is a front view in elevation of the vase shown in FIG. 7 after it has been shaped, holding the roses that were previously wrapped in the sleeve;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an alternative envelope embodiment according to the present invention with an instruction card shown in phantom;
FIG. 10 is an exploded perspective view of the alternative envelope embodiment shown in FIG. 9 with both the vase and instruction card removed from the interior thereof; and
FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view of the envelope taken about lines 11-11 shown in FIG. 10.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS
The illustrated exemplary embodiments described herein relate to an arrangements or bouquets of flora. For example and not limitation, these embodiments may be used on bouquets of cut flowers such as those wrapped in a sleeve. As disclosed, an envelope for holding and containing a flat object vase for the subsequent display of the flora can be stored in the envelope and sold contemporaneously therewith. The envelope can also be used for other flat objects. This envelope is adapted to attach or otherwise be supported by the sleeve that is wrapped about the bouquet. Such sleeves are known in the art and are commonly constructed as sheets of paper, cellophane, foil, polypropylene, and the like, which are wrapped about the arrangement of flora. As described herein, the vase is received within a space efficient envelope or envelope that can be adhered or otherwise attached to the sleeve. One embodiment discloses a vase that is not contained in an envelope but that is secured to the flora.
A first exemplary embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 1A and 2-7. With reference to FIG. 1A, bouquet of flora 10 is shown having sleeve 14 wrapped thereabout and including envelope 20 attached thereto. As described above, sleeves such as sleeve 14 are common in the art and are typically sheets of paper, cellophane, foil, polypropylene, and the like, which are wrapped about the flora such as shown in FIG. 1A. Bouquet 10 has for example a plurality of pre-arranged flowers, shown here as roses 12. The bouquet or arrangement of flora may be comprised of any type of plant item such as live or dried flowers and plants. Sleeve 14 wrapped about roses 12 may have a selected color to accentuate the arrangement.
Bouquet envelope 20, shown here in the assembled state, is supported by sleeve 14 and contains formable vase 50 therein, shown in phantom. Envelope 20 may be adhered, tethered, or otherwise suitably attached to sleeve 14 at a location that is visible. FIG. 1B illustrates an arrangement of flora 70 where the envelope 73 containing a flat object 80 is directly tethered via string 76 or other connecting strip to the stems 75 of the selected plant items 72. FIG. 1C illustrates an alternative arrangement where the bouquet of flora 90 includes a formable vase 85 tethered directly to the stems 95 of plant items 92 with a twist-tie 96 or other connecting strip.
To better appreciate the aspects of envelope 20, reference is now made to FIGS. 2-5 to discuss one exemplary embodiment according to the present invention. Bouquet envelope 20 is generally rectangular or square in configuration and formed of a flexible material, such as cloth, plastic or the like. Envelope 20 may be constructed of a transparent or translucent plastic material, such as polyethylene, polyvinylchloride, and the like, so that vase 50 is visible when contained therein. Envelope 20 includes two opposing panels, front panel 22 and back panel 24, joined along all or at least a majority of the periphery 26 by conventional means such as heat sealing, radiofrequency sealing, and other appropriate methods. Front panel 22 and back panel 24 are partible, except along the peripheral margin 26, so as to form an interior or pocket 28 that is sized and adapted for receiving vase 50 therein.
With continued reference to FIGS. 2-5, back panel 24 extends beyond that of front panel 22 and may be folded over itself along top margin 32 thereof to form flap 30. Flap 30 sealed to bottom panel 24 along its top margin 32 and both side margins 31 and 33. However, bottom edge portion 37 of flap 30 is not sealed to bottom panel 24, such that bottom edge portion 37 is partible relative to top panel 22 to expose 29 entryway and permit access to interior 28. Accordingly, when bottom edge portion 37 is pulled apart from top panel 22, as shown in FIG. 3, vase 50 may be removed from or placed in interior 28. Further, as perhaps best shown in FIG. 5, when bottom edge portion 37 is not parted from top panel 22, it overlaps the top margin of top 22, closing over entryway 29.
Alternatively, flap 30 may be formed as a separate panel piece that is joined along a top margin 32 and side margins 31 and 33 of back panel 24. Further, if desired, flap 30 may be provided with a closure to ensure containment of the vase therein. For example, flap 30 may have a snap wherein a first snap faster is disposed on the flap and located to cooperate with a second snap closure located on front panel 22. Also, flap 30 could be altogether absent from envelope 20 and be provided with a tear-away strip. In this way, front panel 22 and back panel 24 could be heat sealed about the entire periphery whereby a tear away strip demarcated by a score line could then be removed to permit access to the interior of the envelope.
As discussed above, envelope 20 is supported by sleeve when in the assembled state. The envelope may be directly attached to the bouquet with a tether (see FIG. 1B). Such tether may be a string, rubber band, or the like. The envelope 20 may be indirectly secured to the bouquet by adhering the envelope to the sleeve (see FIG. 1A), which can be accomplished with a suitable adhesive as known in the art. As perhaps best shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, back panel 24 has an interior surface 34 and opposed exterior surface 36, which may be provided with adhesive layer 38 sufficient to adhere envelope 20, along with the vase, to the sleeve at a selected location. Prior to assembling envelope 20 to the sleeve, envelope 20 may be provided with a removable non-stick backing 40 of selected size and configuration. Backing 40 protects adhesive layer 38 and preserves it until envelope 20 is ready to be assembled, which may be a non-stick plastic or paper material, such as polyester, wax paper or white paper and is preferably of a selected size and configuration to protect the entire adhesive layer.
FIG. 6 shows a partial cross section of envelope 20 shown adhered to sleeve 14 in the assembled state, and with vase 50 in interior 28. As may be appreciated, backing 40, described above, is completely removed from back panel 24 and adhesive layer 38 is now adhered to sleeve 14. Upon receipt of the assembled bouquet 10, the recipient may pull back flap 30 of envelope 20 and extract vase 50. Both the sleeve and envelope may then be discarded.
With continued reference to FIG. 3 and additional reference to FIGS. 6-8, deformable vase 50 is generally thin, flat, and rectangular in configuration when in its flattened state. Due to its construction, vase 50 can be folded so as to be half of its size for placement in interior 28 of envelope 20 so as to reduce the size of the envelope needed to hold it. As shown in FIG. 6, when vase 50 is in interior 28 of envelope 20, body portion 52 is folded over itself forming a first body portion or layer 53 and a second body portion or bottom layer 55. Upon removing vase 50 from envelope 20, it may be unfolded and extended to its full size as shown in FIG. 7. To thereafter form the vase, it may then be run under warm water to soften the material and permit mouth 56 to be opened and allow the introduction of warm water into vase interior 58. After vase 50 takes on the desired shape for holding the flowers, it is ready to receive and hold for display roses 12 and cold water 60 as shown in FIG. 8.
An alternative embodiment of the envelope according to the present invention is shown in FIGS. 9-11. As shown, envelope 120 is generally rectangular in configuration and like envelope 20 discussed above, may be constructed of a transparent or translucent, flexible material. Envelope 120 includes two opposing panels, front panel 122 and back panel 124, joined along the periphery 126 by conventional means such as heat sealing, radiofrequency sealing, and other appropriate methods. Front panel 122 and back panel 124 are partible, except along the peripheral margin 126, so as to form an interior or pocket 128 that is sized and adapted for receiving vase 50 therein.
With continued reference to FIGS. 9-11, back panel 124 extends beyond that of front panel 122 and may be folded over itself along top margin 132 thereof to form flap portion 130. Flap portion 130 is sealed to bottom panel 124 along its top margin 132 and both side margins 131 and 133. However, bottom edge portion 137 of flap 130 is not sealed to bottom panel 124. Top edge portion 121 of top panel 122 abuts bottom edge portion 137 thereby to define slit 129. Top edge portion 121 of the top panel and bottom edge portion 137 of flap 130 are partible, as shown in FIG. 10, to permit access to interior 128.
Similar to envelope 20 described above, envelope 120 is provided with an adhesive layer 138 on back panel 124 that enables envelope 120 to adhere to the sleeve of the bouquet after non-stick backing 140 is peeled away therefrom. In comparison to backing 40, as shown for example in FIGS. 2-4, backing 140 of the alternative envelope construction 120 is sized so that a top margin 141 thereof extends beyond envelope 120. Top margin 141 is similar to a tap to facilitate the removal of backing 140 from envelope 120. As shown in FIGS. 2-4 above, backing 140 extends on all four sides of envelope 20, such that it may be pulled away therefrom on any selected side.
With reference now to FIG. 10, envelope 120 contains both vase 50 and instruction card 180. Vase 50 is of a deformable vase of like construction as discussed above and thus need not be described in detail here. Instruction card 180 may be provided and include decorative indicia such as shown here in the form of flowers 182 and instructions 184 to educate the consumer regarding the product and forming the vase 50. Since top panel 122 may be formed of a translucent material, instruction card 180 can be visible once inserted into interior 128 and vase 50 can be inserted behind it. Other flat objects that may be included in the envelope include a storybook, seed packet, greeting card, or the like.
From the foregoing, it should be appreciated that the exemplary embodiments also provide a method of wrapping a bouquet of flora and includes any of the steps inherent in the structure described above with respect to the exemplary embodiments. According to the method, a floral arrangement is created with selected flowers and other floral plants. The floral arrangement is then wrapped in a sleeve of chosen material and color. An envelope containing a formable vase, such as illustrated and described above with respect to FIGS. 1A-6 is provided having means for adhering to or otherwise being supported by the bouquet wrapping. With specific reference to the envelope described above, the method may include the step of removing the backing from the back panel of the envelope to expose an adhesive layer. The back panel may then be adhered to the wrapping. The method may further include the steps of removing the vase from the envelope and the flowers from the wrapping, forming the vase, and thereafter displaying the flowers in the vase. These steps may occur in any particular desired order.
Accordingly, the embodiments provided in this disclosure have been described with some degree of particularity. It should be appreciated, though, that modifications or changes may be made to these exemplary embodiments without departing from the inventive concepts contained herein. Moreover, different features in the different embodiments may be selectively used with any of the embodiments as would be appreciated by the person ordinarily skilled in this art.
Patent applications by Dole Food Company, Inc.
Patent applications by Tartan Products Company, Inc.
Patent applications in class FOR A PLANT, FLOWER, OR TREE (INCLUDES CUT OR ARTIFICIAL)
Patent applications in all subclasses FOR A PLANT, FLOWER, OR TREE (INCLUDES CUT OR ARTIFICIAL)