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Publication numberUS20090194006 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/384,647
Publication dateAug 6, 2009
Filing dateApr 6, 2009
Priority dateSep 11, 2007
Also published asWO2010117915A1
Publication number12384647, 384647, US 2009/0194006 A1, US 2009/194006 A1, US 20090194006 A1, US 20090194006A1, US 2009194006 A1, US 2009194006A1, US-A1-20090194006, US-A1-2009194006, US2009/0194006A1, US2009/194006A1, US20090194006 A1, US20090194006A1, US2009194006 A1, US2009194006A1
InventorsSharon Duncan
Original AssigneeSharon Duncan
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Plant pot tray
US 20090194006 A1
Abstract
A plant pot tray for use with a plant pot having a support medium inside the plant pot to provide a generally horizontal table-like surface next to the plant pot that can be used to support one or more objects thereon. The plant pot tray comprises a support mechanism for supportably attaching a tray substantially adjacent the plant pot. Preferably, the support mechanism includes a pair of proximal support members which attach to the proximal side of the tray and a distal support member which attaches to or near the distal side of the tray. An anchor member of each proximal support member is received in and held in place by the support medium. One section of the distal support member engages the upper edge of the plant pot and another section engages the side wall of the plant pot to support the tray in a substantially horizontal position.
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Claims(28)
1. A plant pot tray for use with a plant pot having a support medium in said plant pot, said plant pot tray comprising:
a tray having an upper surface, a proximal side and a distal side;
means for supporting said tray on said plant pot so as to dispose said upper surface of said tray in a substantially horizontal position with said proximal side of said tray disposed toward said plant pot and said distal side of said tray outwardly extending from said plant pot.
2. The plant pot tray of claim 1, wherein said tray has a proximal profile and said plant pot has an edge profile, said proximal profile substantially corresponding to said edge profile.
3. The plant pot tray of claim 1, wherein said support means disposes said proximal side of said tray substantially adjacent an upper edge of said plant pot.
4. The plant pot tray of claim 1, wherein said supporting means comprises one or more support members configured to engage said tray, each of said support members supported by at least one of said support medium and a side wall of said plant pot.
5. The plant pot tray of claim 4, wherein said support members are configured to engage said proximal side and said distal side of said tray.
6. The plant pot tray of claim 4, wherein said one or more support members comprise at least one proximal support member configured to engage said proximal side of said tray and be received in said plant pot and be supported by said support medium.
7. The plant pot tray of claim 6, wherein said proximal support member comprises an anchor member sized and configured to be received in and supported by said support medium, a proximal side engaging means for engaging said proximal side of said tray and a span section interconnecting said anchor member and said proximal side engaging means, said span section having a span member sized and configured to span across an upper edge and/or a lip of said plant pot.
8. The plant pot tray of claim 6, wherein said proximal side engaging means comprises a hook element.
9. The plant pot tray of claim 6 further comprising a securing means interconnecting said proximal side engaging means and said proximal side of said tray for securing said tray to said proximal side engaging means.
10. The plant pot tray of claim 4, wherein said one or more support members comprise at least one distal support member configured to engage said tray and support said distal side of said tray in substantially horizontal relation with said proximal side of said tray.
11. The plant pot tray of claim 10, wherein said distal support member comprises an edge engaging section at a first end of said distal support member configured to engage an upper edge of said plant pot, a distal side engaging means at a second end of said distal support member for engaging said tray to support said distal side of said tray and a wall engaging section disposed between said first end and said second end configured to engage said side wall of said plant pot to support said tray.
12. The plant pot tray of claim 11, wherein said edge engaging section is substantially U-shaped and configured to straddle said upper edge of said plant pot.
13. The plant pot tray of claim 11, wherein said distal side engaging means comprises a seat element configured to engage said tray.
14. The plant pot tray of claim 13, wherein said seat member engages a tab member on said tray.
15. The plant pot tray of claim 11 further comprising an outwardly extending section disposed between said wall engaging section and said distal side engaging means.
16. The plant pot tray of claim 15, wherein said outwardly extending section is adjustable in length.
17. A plant pot tray for use with a plant pot having a support medium in said plant pot, said plant pot tray comprising:
a tray having an upper surface, a proximal side and a distal side;
means for supporting said tray on said plant pot so as to dispose said upper surface of said tray in a substantially horizontal position with said proximal side of said tray substantially adjacent an upper edge or a side wall of said plant pot and said distal side of said tray outwardly extending from said plant pot, said supporting means comprising at least one proximal support member configured to engage said proximal side of said tray and be received in said plant pot and be supported by said support medium.
18. The plant pot tray of claim 17, wherein said tray has a proximal profile and said plant pot has an edge profile, said proximal profile substantially corresponding to said edge profile.
19. The plant pot tray of claim 17, wherein said proximal support member comprises an anchor member sized and configured to be received in and supported by said support medium, a proximal side engaging means for engaging said proximal side of said tray and a span section interconnecting said anchor member and said proximal side engaging means, said span section having a span member sized and configured to span across said upper edge and/or a lip of said plant pot.
20. The plant pot tray of claim 17, wherein said support means disposes said proximal side of said tray substantially adjacent said upper edge of said plant pot.
21. The plant pot tray of claim 17 further comprising at least one distal support member configured to engage said tray and support said distal side of said tray in substantially horizontal relation with said proximal side of said tray.
22. The plant pot tray of claim 21, wherein said distal support member comprises an edge engaging section at a first end of said distal support member configured to engage said upper edge of said plant pot, a distal side engaging means at a second end of said distal support member for engaging said tray to support said distal side of said tray and a wall engaging section disposed between said first end and said second end configured to engage said side wall of said plant pot to support said tray.
23. A plant pot tray for use with a plant pot having a support medium in said plant pot, said plant pot tray comprising:
a tray having an upper surface, a proximal side and a distal side;
means for supporting said tray on said plant pot so as to dispose said upper surface of said tray in a substantially horizontal position with said proximal side of said tray substantially adjacent said plant pot and said distal side of said tray outwardly extending from said plant pot, said supporting means comprising a pair of proximal support members and a distal support member, each of said pair of proximal support members configured to engage said proximal side of said tray and be received in said plant pot and supported by said support medium, said distal support member configured to engage said tray and support said distal side of said tray in substantially horizontal relation with said proximal side of said tray.
24. The plant pot tray of claim 23, wherein said tray has a proximal profile and said plant pot has an edge profile, said proximal profile substantially corresponding to said edge profile.
25. The plant pot tray of claim 24, wherein each of said proximal support members comprises an anchor member sized and configured to be received in and supported by said support medium, a proximal side engaging means for engaging said proximal side of said tray and a span section interconnecting said anchor member and said proximal side engaging means, said span section having a span member sized and configured to span across an upper edge and/or a lip of said plant pot.
26. The plant pot tray of claim 25, wherein said distal support member comprises an edge engaging section at a first end of said distal support member configured to engage an upper edge of said plant pot, a distal side engaging means at a second end of said distal support member for engaging said tray to support said distal side of said tray and a wall engaging section disposed between said first end and said second end configured to engage said side wall of said plant pot to support said tray.
27. The plant pot tray of claim 24, wherein said distal support member comprises an edge engaging section at a first end of said distal support member configured to engage an upper edge of said plant pot, a distal side engaging means at a second end of said distal support member for engaging said tray to support said distal side of said tray and a wall engaging section disposed between said first end and said second end configured to engage said side wall of said plant pot to support said tray.
28. The plant pot tray of claim 27, wherein said distal side engaging means is configured to engage said distal side of said tray.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

None.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A. Field of the Invention

The field of the present invention relates generally to trays, tables and the like that are supported above the ground, floor or other surface on which the apparatus for supporting the tray rests. In particular, the present invention relates to trays that are supported by a non-traditional tray support apparatus to provide a generally horizontal surface on which to place objects. Even more particularly, the present invention relates to such apparatuses that are configured to be utilized with a plant pot to support the tray at or near the upper edge of the plant pot.

B. Background

Many people enjoy viewing and taking care of plants and having one or more plants around their yard, on their patio, porch, pool deck or other outside surfaces and in their sunroom, livingroom or other rooms of their home. For use on hard surfaces and to allow the plants to be moved from one place to another as desired or necessary, plants are often planted in pots. While some plant pots are small and intended to be placed on a shelf, table and other raised surfaces or hung by a plant hanger or the like, many plant pots are somewhat large and, as such, are generally placed directly on and supported by the ground, floor, deck, patio or other surface. The plant pot is filled with a support medium that supports one or more plants in the pot, often in a generally upright position, to add for the enjoyment of the plant owner and others who may see the plant pot. The plants may be live plants and the support medium can be soil or other material that is conducive to the growing and continued life of the plant. Alternatively, the plants may be artificial and the support medium in the plant pot may be sand, rocks or other materials that are merely intended to support the one or more artificial plants in the plant pot and to add weight to the plant pot so it is not easily tipped or knocked over. Whether the plants are live or artificial, the combined weight of the plants, the support medium in the plant pot and the plant pot itself, particularly for larger-sized plant pots, can be somewhat significant, resulting in the plant pots being difficult to move.

In addition to being available in different sizes, plant pots are also available in a wide variety of different configurations. Generally, all plant pots have a bottom that is closed or substantially closed, typically only having a small hole in the bottom wall, and a top that is substantially open to receive the support medium and plants and through which the plants extend. The top edge of many plant pots have a lip that extends outward from the top of the plant pot. The top edge of the plant pot may have a generally round, oval, square, rectangular or other profile, which may or may not correspond to the shape of the bottom of the plant pot, and a pot body that may, at least in part, somewhat incline or curve inwardly, extend outwardly or be substantially in-line relative to the top of the plant pot.

One common use of plant pots is to be able to sit near one or more of the plant pots and enjoy the beauty associated with the plants and, often, the plant pots themselves. As such, many people decorate their home, patio or pool deck with one or more chairs, stools, benches or other seating facilities in the vicinity of a plant pot so that they may enjoy sitting next to the plant(s) while reading, sewing or doing other activities by themselves or while visiting with others. Very often, it is also beneficial to have a table, shelf or other generally horizontal tray surface positioned near the plant pot and seating facilities on which a person may place a drink, plate, bowl, book, pen, phone or a variety of other objects. In addition, many people would find it beneficial to have a tray at the plant pot for placing objects, including candles and the like, on the surface of the tray to accessorize the plant pot to make it more attractive whether or not it is used near seating facilities. Presently, a tray surface is provided as a separate table having an attached, either fixedly or removably, support apparatus that disposes the tray surface above the ground, floor or other surface on which the table rests a sufficient distance to be suitable for its intended use.

One problem with use of a table near a plant pot is that often such use requires movement of the plant pot away from the seating facilities to provide sufficient space for the table, movement of the seating facilities away from the plant pot and/or placement of the table in front of the plant pot so that the persons sitting on the seats may effectively and efficiently use the tray surface. As stated above, if the plant pot is large, moving the plant pot can be somewhat difficult and impractical. Moving the seating facilities away from the plant pot or placing the table in front of the plant pot can substantially diminish the aesthetic effect that was originally intended by positioning the seating facilities in close proximity to the plant pot. As a result, many people either do not utilize a table, thereby requiring the people sitting in the seats to hold their drinks or other objects in their hands or place the objects on the ground near the seats, or position the table away from the plant pot and, typically, at a position inconvenient to one or more of the people sitting next to the plant pot.

The prior art is replete with apparatuses for supporting a plant pot above the ground or other surface, with trays that attach to the bottom of a plant pot or which receive the bottom of the plant pot within the tray and with tables or the like that support objects, none of which provides a tray surface attached to the plant pot that can be utilized by persons sifting next to the plant pot for support. For instance, U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,109,462, 5,711,502, 5,390,443 and D338,122 to Emalfarb, et al. are directed to hanger apparatuses that hang on a fence, railing or other object and provide a receptacle-like section to receive one or more plant pots. U.S. Pat. No. 3,981,099 to Dziewulski discloses a hanging plant pot having a detachable tray that attaches to the bottom of the plant pot to receive excess fluid from the plant pot. U.S. Pat. No. 4,454,681 to White discloses a bracket for securing a plant pot to a shelf by extending a portion of the bracket, which is placed inside the plant pot, through the plant pot drainage hole and into or through the shelf. U.S. Pat. No. 4,821,454 to Wilds, U.S. Pat. No. 5,960,587 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,161,333 to Poston disclose plant pots that are configured to sit on top of a table with plants received in the pot and an umbrella pole received through the center of the pot. U.S. Pat. No. 5,966,868 to Cox discloses a flower pot configured to support a variety of detachable lawn fixtures, such as a bird bath, table, urn or sundial in spaced apart relation above the flower pot. U.S. Pat. No. 6,237,881 to Levesque discloses an apparatus that converts between a flower pot holder and a table support by removing the pot and placing a table top in its place.

As stated above, the prior art devices do not solve the problems associated with wanting to have a table or tray surface next to a plant pot so that persons sitting in chairs or other seating facilities next to the plant pot or around the plant pot can place objects on the tray surface or being able to accessorize the plant pot by placing candles or other objects on a tray at the plant pot. What is needed, therefore, is a tray and an associated tray support apparatus that is configured to support the tray on the plant pot so as to provide a tray surface substantially adjacent the plant pot and, thereby, eliminate the need for a separate table or tray. Preferably, the tray and tray support apparatus should be adaptable for a variety of different sizes and shapes of plant pots and be utilized with plant pots having live and/or artificial plants supported by a support medium. The preferred tray and support apparatus should be configured to securely dispose the tray on the plant pot so that the user may safely place drinks, plates, writing materials, telephones and other objects on the tray surface. Preferably, the tray and support apparatus should be easy and quick to disassemble so the user can install the tray when needed and remove it when it is not needed. The tray support apparatus should be configured such that it may be installed on the plant pot without scratching, marring or otherwise damaging the plant pot. The preferred tray and support apparatus should be adjustable to fit different sizes of plant pots. Preferably, the tray and support apparatus should be relatively inexpensive to manufacture and be adaptable to including a variety of design elements with the tray and/or the support apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The plant pot tray of the present invention solves the problems and provides the benefits identified above. That is to say, the present invention is a plant pot tray having an associated tray support apparatus that provides a table-like tray adjacent a plant pot with a tray surface on which a variety of objects may be placed. In a preferred configuration, the support apparatus disposes the inner side of the tray substantially adjacent or near the upper edge of the plant pot and supports the surface of the tray in a substantially horizontal position so that the user may place drinks, plates, writing materials and a variety of other objects on the tray. The preferred tray support apparatus of the present invention utilizes the support medium in the plant pot and the side wall of the plant pot to provide support for the tray so that a variety of objects may be safely placed on the tray. The tray and tray support apparatus of the present invention can be configured for a wide variety of different sizes and shapes of plant pots, including those having a generally round, oval, square or rectangular profile at or near the top of the plant pot. The plant pot tray of the present invention is easy to install and disassemble, allowing the user to easily and quickly place the tray on the plant pot when needed and remove it from the plant pot when it is not needed. In addition, the plant pot tray of the present invention can be installed without the use of adhesives, placement of holes in the plant pot or other modifications to the plant pot and without scratching, marring or otherwise damaging the plant pot. In a preferred configuration, the various support components of the plant pot tray are adjustable to fit different sizes of plant pots and can be made out of materials that are relatively inexpensive. The tray portion of the plant pot tray can be made out of a wide variety of different materials. Both the tray and its support apparatus can include a variety of design and/or functional elements.

In a primary embodiment of the present invention, the plant pot tray generally comprises a tray and a means for supportably attaching the tray to the plant pot so as to dispose the upper surface of the tray in a substantially horizontal position at the plant pot so the user may place one or more objects, such as drink containers, plates, eating utensils, reading materials and the like, thereon when sitting next to the plant pot. Preferably, the supporting means positions the tray substantially adjacent the plant pot and engages the support medium, such as soil, rocks, sand or the like, inside the plant pot, the upper edge of the plant pot and the side of the plant pot. In a preferred embodiment, the supporting means comprises a pair of proximal support members that each engage and support a proximal side of the tray and a distal support member which engages the tray to support the distal side of the tray so as to dispose the proximal side of the tray substantially adjacent the upper edge of the plant pot and the distal side of the tray in outwardly extending relation to the plant pot. The proximal support members comprise an anchor member that is inserted into the support medium inside the plant pot, a span section which spans across the upper edge and, if applicable, the lip at the top of the plant pot and a proximal side engaging means that engages the tray at or near its proximal side. In the preferred embodiment, the proximal side engaging means comprises an upwardly disposed hook element that receives a portion of the tray or a portion of a frame member of the frame that defines the tray. The weight and/or compaction of the support medium inside the plant pot supports the anchor member so that the hook element may hold the proximal side of the tray in position substantially adjacent the plant pot.

In the preferred embodiment, the distal support member comprises an edge engaging section which engages the upper edge of the plant pot, a wall engaging section that engages a side wall of the plant pot, a distal side engaging means which engages the tray at or toward its distal side and an outwardly extending section that interconnects the wall engaging section and the distal side engaging means to position the distal side engaging means at the distal side of the tray. The edge engaging section straddles and engages the upper edge and lip of the plant pot. The weight of the tray and any objects thereon push the wall engaging section against the side wall of the plant pot to support the distal side of the tray and dispose the tray's upper surface in a substantially horizontal position. The distal side engaging means comprises a seat element that either receives a downward disposed tab member at or near the distal side of the tray or a portion of the frame at or near the distal side of the tray to hold the tray in its substantially horizontal position. In a preferred configuration of the distal support member, the outwardly extending section is adjustable in length and the distal support member is disassemblable to allow the user to configure the support member for the size and configuration of the plant pot on which the plant pot tray will be used.

In use, the user selects a tray that will be attached to a plant pot having a quantity of support medium inside, typically supporting one or more plants. In a preferred embodiment, the user selects a tray having a proximal profile that is in corresponding relation to the edge profile of the plant pot, such that a tray having a curved proximal side will be utilized with a plant pot having a round or oval opening at the top thereof and a tray having a linear proximal side will be utilized with a plant pot having a generally square or rectangular opening. The anchor member of each of the proximal support members are inserted inside the support medium by pushing down on the span section until the span member of the span section is above or in overlying relation to the upper edge of the plant pot with the hook element extending outward from the plant pot at a position where the tray will be placed. The edge engaging section of the distal support member is placed on the upper edge of the plant pot such that the wall engaging section is against the outer surface of the side wall of the plant pot with the outwardly extending section disposing the seat element at or towards the position where the distal side of the tray will be placed. The tray is then placed on the supporting means with the proximal side, or a component located at or near the proximal side, of the tray engaging the hook elements of the proximal support members and the tab member or frame at or near the distal side in engaging relation with the seat element of the distal support member to position the proximal side of the tray substantially adjacent the top of the plant pot with the upper surface of the tray in a generally horizontal position to provide a table-like surface on which to place one or more objects. The support apparatus utilized with the plant pot tray is installed and removed from the plant pot tray without any modifications to the plant pot tray and without damaging the plan pot.

Accordingly, one of the primary aspects of the present invention is to provide a plant pot tray that has the advantages discussed above and which overcomes the disadvantages and limitations associated with presently available apparatuses for providing a tray surface near a plant pot.

It is an important aspect of the present invention to provide a plant pot tray that is configured to attach to and be support by a plant pot so as to dispose a substantially horizontal tray surface at or near the upper edge of the plant pot.

It is also an important aspect of the present invention to provide a plant pot tray that safely and securely positions a tray substantially adjacent the upper edge of a plant pot so persons may place drinks, plates, writing materials, reading materials or other objects on the tray surface while sitting near the plant pot.

It is also an important aspect of the present invention to provide a plant pot tray that comprises a support mechanism which attaches a tray to the upper edge of the plant pot and secures the tray in position by engaging the support medium in the plant pot and a wall of the plant pot.

It is also an important aspect of the present invention to provide a plant pot tray that is adaptable to a wide variety of plant pot shapes and sizes, easy to attach to and remove from the plant pot and made out of materials that provides a relatively inexpensive tray positioned at the plant pot.

Another important aspect of the present invention is to provide a plant pot tray that can be installed on and removed from a plant pot without requiring any modifications to the plant pot, including drilling holes and the like, without requiring the use of adhesives or the like and without scratching, marring or otherwise damaging the plant pot.

Yet another important aspect of the present invention is to provide a plant pot tray that can be customized according to the user's own tastes with a variety of decorative and/or functional elements in or on the tray and/or the tray support apparatus.

The above and other aspects and advantages of the present invention are explained in greater detail by reference to the attached figures and the description of the preferred embodiment which follows. As set forth herein, the present invention resides in the novel features of form, construction, mode of operation and combination of the above presently described and understood by the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings which illustrate the preferred embodiments and the best modes presently contemplated for carrying out the present invention:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a plant pot tray that is configured according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention shown in use with a plant pot having a generally curved profile at its upper edge;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the plant pot tray and plant pot of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top view of a plant pot tray that is configured according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention shown in use with a plant pot having a generally linear profile at its upper edge;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the plant pot tray and plant pot of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a front view of the plant pot tray and plant pot of FIG. 3 particularly showing components of the support mechanism disposed inside the plant pot;

FIG. 6 is a top perspective view of a tray frame for use in supporting a tray utilized with a pot having a curved profile;

FIG. 7 is a side view of the components of the support apparatus utilized with the plant pot and plant pot tray of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 8 is an exploded view of the center support component of the support apparatus of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is an alternative hook section of the center support component of the support apparatus of FIG. 8 for use with a small to medium sized round pot;

FIG. 10 is a top perspective view of a tray frame for use in supporting a tray utilized with a pot having a linear profile;

FIG. 11 is a side view of the components of the support apparatus utilized with the plant pot and plant pot tray of FIGS. 3 and 4;

FIG. 12 is an alternative configuration of the center support component of the support apparatus of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a front perspective view of a plant pot tray utilized with a plant pot having a curved profile showing use of design and functional elements, namely a decorative front wall, a pair of cup holders and a napkin holder;

FIG. 14 is a front perspective view of a plant pot tray utilized with a plant pot having a curved profile showing use of a back wall and an extended front wall;

FIG. 15 is side perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a back wall that can be utilized with the plant pot tray of the present invention;

FIG. 16 is a isolated side view of a proximal side support member showing use of a securing means to secure the tray to the support member;

FIG. 17 is a top view of a plant pot having multiple plant pot trays attached thereto so as to circumvent the plant pot;

FIG. 18 is a side view of a proximal support member showing use of an adjustable length anchor member and use of an adjustable length span section; and

FIG. 19 is an isolated front view of the anchor member of a proximal support member showing use of a resistance wing attached thereto for providing support in certain support mediums.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to the figures where like elements have been given like numerical designations to facilitate the reader's understanding of the present invention, the preferred embodiments of the present invention are set forth below. The enclosed text and drawings are merely illustrative of one or more preferred embodiments and, as such, disclose one or more different ways of configuring the present invention. Although specific components, materials, configurations and uses are illustrated, it should be understood that a number of variations to the components and to the configuration of those components described herein and in the accompanying figures can be made without changing the scope and function of the invention set forth herein. For instance, although the figures and description provided herein show certain configurations for the components of the plant pot tray and the plant pot, those skilled in the art will readily understand that this is merely for purposes of simplifying the present disclosure and that the present invention is not so limited.

A plant pot tray configured pursuant to a preferred embodiment of the present invention is identified generally as 10 in the figures. As best shown in FIGS. 1 through 5, the plant pot tray 10 is configured for use with a plant pot 12 that typically has one or more plants 14 disposed in a support medium 16. As known in the art, plants 14 can be live plants and the support medium 16 can be soil or other organic material which facilitates the growth of plants 14, or plants 14 can be artificial plants and the support medium 16 can be sand, rocks and/or other non-organic material, or plants 14 can be a combination of live and artificial plants in support medium 16 having both organic and non-organic materials. Plant pot 12 has a bottom 18 that is generally closed, typically only having one or more relatively small holes in the bottom wall to allow excess fluid to drain, a top 20 which is generally open to allow the user to place the plants 14 and support medium 16 in plant pot 12 and to allow the plants 14 to grow, and one or more side walls 22 (depending on the configuration of plant pot 12) that enclose the support medium 16 in plant pot 12. Although the plant pot tray 10 of the present invention can be utilized with a wide variety of sizes and shapes of plant pot 12, the plant pot tray 10 will typically be most useful and beneficial with the larger sized plant pots 12 that will dispose the upper surface 24 of tray 26 at a level above the floor, patio, deck or other surface on which the bottom 18 of plant pot 12 rests that is convenient to use as a table-like surface. The opening 28 at the top 20 of plant pot 12 is defined by an upper edge 30 having an edge profile 32, which may be round, oval, square, rectangular or a variety of other shapes and may or may not correspond to the shape of the bottom 18 or side wall 22 of plant pot 12. Many plant pots 12 also have an outward extending lip 34 at or near the upper edge 30 of plant pot 12, as best shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4. As well known in the art, the plant pot 12 can be made out of a variety of different materials, including ceramic, wood, metal, plastic and various composite materials with a side wall 22 that is generally aligned vertically with upper edge 30 of plant pot 12, a side wall 22 that extends, at least part thereof, outwardly relative to upper edge 30 (as shown in FIG. 2) or a side wall 22 that inclines inwardly relative to upper edge 30 (as shown in FIG. 4). Various other configurations of plant pot 12 can be utilized with the plant pot tray 10 of the present invention.

As set forth in more detail below, tray 26 is supported on plant pot 12 by a tray supporting means 36 that is configured to cooperate with the upper edge 30 and, if applicable, lip 34 of plant pot 12 and the side wall 22 of plant pot 12 so as to support tray 26 generally at or near the top 20 of plant pot 12 with the upper surface 24 of tray 26 disposed generally horizontal so that objects, such as the glass 38 or bowl 40 shown in FIG. 5, may be safely placed on upper surface 24. In a preferred embodiment, the tray supporting means 36 is configured to position the proximal side 42 of tray 26 generally at or near the upper edge 30 or lip 34 of plant pot 12 with the distal side 44 of tray 26 outwardly disposed from the top 20 of plant pot 12. In a typical configuration for plant pot tray 10, best shown in FIGS. 1, 3, 6 and 10, a single tray 26 will have a first end 46 and a second end 48 defining a section length that does not entirely circumvent the top 20 of plant pot 12, although plant pot tray 10 could be configured to entirely or substantially circumvent top 20 or, as shown in FIG. 17, multiple sections of plant pot tray 10, each having tray 26, could be combined to circumvent or substantially circumvent the top 20 of plant pot 12. As will be appreciated by many persons who decorate with plant pots 12, the addition of tray 26 to plant pot 12, whether partially around plant pot 12 as in FIGS. 1 and 3 or fully circumventing plant pot 12 as in FIG. 17, allows the placement of decorative objects, including items such as unlit or lit candles, on the upper surface 24 of tray 26 to accessorize the plant pot 12 to make it more attractive.

Although the tray 26 can be manufactured in a variety of different configurations, in the preferred embodiment of plant pot tray 10 the proximal side 42 of tray 26 has a proximal profile 50 which is in substantially corresponding relation to the edge profile 32 of plant pot 12 so that the combined plant pot 12 and tray 26 will be more aesthetically pleasing. For instance, FIGS. 1, 2 and 17 show a plant pot 12 having a generally round edge profile 32 and tray 26 having a curved proximal profile 50 that substantially correspond in shape. FIGS. 3 and 4 show a plant pot 12 having a rectangular edge profile 32 and a tray 26 that has a generally linear proximal profile 50. In such a configuration, the proximal side 42 can be substantially adjacent the top 20 of plant pot 12. In the above figures, the distal profile 52 at distal side 44 is in corresponding relation to the proximal profile 50 and the edge profile 32. While use of corresponding edge profiles 32 and proximal profiles 50 and corresponding proximal profiles 50 and distal profiles 52 is believed to provide a more aesthetically pleasing plant pot tray 10 and plant pot 12 system, the present invention is not so limited. As will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, a square or rectangular shaped tray 26 can be utilized with a plant pot 12 having a round or oval edge profile 32 and a round or oval shaped tray 26 can be utilized with a plant pot 12 having a square or rectangular edge profile 32.

The tray 26 can be made out of a wide variety of different materials. For instance, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, tray 26 can be made out of a solid or substantially solid piece of marble, granite, wood, metal, ceramic, plastic, glass or composite material. Alternatively, tray 26 can be made out of a combination of such materials. In another embodiment, examples of which are shown in FIGS. 3 through 6 and 10, tray 26 can comprise a tray frame 54 that supports a tray insert 56 which defines the upper surface 24 of tray 26. Both tray frame 54 and tray insert 56 can also be made from a variety of different materials. In FIGS. 3, 6 and 10, the tray frame 54 is a solid piece of material, such as metal (e.g., wrought iron, copper, steel, aluminum or the like), wood, plastic or composite and the tray insert 56 is made out of a transparent glass or glass-like material (such as certain plastics and the like). The tray frame 54 and tray insert 56 can be cooperatively configured for the tray insert 56 to merely rest on top of tray frame 54 or for the tray insert 56 to securely engage or be engaged by tray frame 54. In addition, a various tray securing devices can be utilized with tray frame 54 that allows the user to selectively engage tray 26 to prevent it from being easily separated from the tray frame 54.

In a preferred configuration of the tray frame/insert embodiment, the tray frame 54 is sized and configured for the tray insert 56 to be securely received inside frame members 58 that comprise tray frame 54, as best shown in FIGS. 6 and 10. The frame insert 56 can be supported inside frame 54, preferably with the top of frame insert 56 at or near the level of the top of frame 54, by an insert support means 60. In FIG. 6, the insert support means 60 comprises a plurality of horizontally disposed insert support tabs 62 that are attached to and project inwardly from frame members 58 a sufficient distance that the tray insert 56 can be safely supported inside tray frame 54. Preferably, however, the insert support tabs 62 do not extend in more than necessary to limit the likelihood the tabs 62 will negatively interfere with the appearance of plant pot tray 10. In one embodiment, the insert support tabs 62 extend inwardly approximately one inch. If desired, one or more frame design elements, shown as 64 in FIG. 6, can be attached to tray frame 54 to improve the appearance of plant pot tray 10. With the tray insert 56 made out of glass, plastic or other transparent material, the frame design elements 64 will be visible from above tray 26. In the embodiment of FIG. 10, the frame design elements 64 are configured to also define the insert support means 60, such that the tray insert 56 will be supported by the various frame design elements 64, which comprises both the leaves and the “stem” members connected to the leaves, inside tray frame 54. In this embodiment, the frame design elements 64 are strategically placed in the open area of the tray frame 54 between the various frame members 58 to safely and effectively (i.e., such that the upper surface 24 of tray 26 is substantially horizontal) support the tray insert 56 on tray frame 54. Many other configurations for the insert support means 60 can be utilized with the plant pot tray 10 of the present invention.

The upper surface 24 of tray 26 can be planar, as shown in FIG. 1, or shaped as desired by the manufacturer or user of plant pot tray 10, including having one or more designs placed on or cut into upper surface 24. In the embodiment of FIG. 13, tray 26 includes one or more tray functional elements, such as cup holder 66 and napkin holder 68, that are intended to improve the use of plant pot tray 10 of the present invention. In the embodiment shown, a pair of cup holders 66 are provided, one towards each end 46/48 of tray 26. Preferably, the cup holders 66 are of the type that are recessed into the upper surface 24 of tray 26 a sufficient distance to reduce the likelihood that a glass, cup, can or other beverage container will be accidently knocked over and spill the contents thereof. The cup holders 66 can have a solid bottom or be configured with a cage-like bottom, which are well known in the art, that supports the container. The napkin holder 68, as well as any other accessory items, can be fixedly attached to the tray 26 or removably attached so the user can add or remove it as he or she desires. The tray 26 can also include a side design element 70 that can be integral with, fixedly attached to or removably attached to the distal side 44 of tray 26, as shown in FIG. 13, and/or the first 46 and second 48 ends of tray 26. The embodiment of FIG. 14 shows use of a back wall 72 and a front wall 74, both of which can either be integral with, fixedly attached or removably attached to tray 26. In addition to adding a decorative touch to plant pot tray 10, back wall 72 can prevent objects on the upper surface 24 of tray 26 from sliding off the back of the tray 26 into plant 14 or support medium 16 and the purpose of front wall 74 is to hide or at least partially hide some of the lower components of the tray supporting means 36 from view and to provide a smoother surface in case persons bump against tray 26. FIG. 15 shows an alternative embodiment for back wall 72. In this embodiment, back wall 72 is separate from tray 26 (e.g., detached) and has one or more spike members 76 configured to be separately placed into support medium 16 at a location behind the tray 26 such that the front surface of back wall 72 is disposed substantially adjacent to the proximal side 42 of tray 26. In a preferred configuration of this embodiment, the back wall 72 is made out of the same materials as tray 26 and spike members 76 are be made out of a substantially stiff, corrosion resistant material that can be pushed into support medium 16 and held in place by the support medium 16.

As set forth above, the tray supporting means 36 is configured to safely and securely support the tray 26 generally along or near the top 20 of the plant pot 12. Various configurations of tray supporting means 36 can be utilized with the plant pot tray 10 of the present invention. In a preferred embodiment, the tray supporting means 36 comprises a plurality of tray engaging members, shown as 78 and 80, that are configured to engage both plant pot 12 and tray 26 in a manner that disposes the upper surface 24 of tray 26 in a generally horizontal position at the top 20 of plant pot 12. Although the tray engaging members 78/80 may engage the tray 26 virtually anywhere along the length of tray 26, in the preferred embodiment the tray engaging members 78/80 engage the proximal side 42 and distal side 44, respectively, of tray 26. In the preferred embodiment, the tray engaging members comprise one or more proximal support members 78 and one or more distal support members 80, as best shown in FIGS. 5, 7 and 11. The embodiments shown in the figures comprise a first proximal support member 78 a, a second proximal support member 78 b and one distal support member 80. As set forth in more detail below, the proximal support members 78 and the distal support member 80 cooperate to support the tray 26 substantially adjacent or near the top 20 of plant pot 12 with the upper surface 24 of tray 26 disposed substantially horizontal to provide a table-like surface on which one or more objects, such as glass 38 or bowl 40, may be placed. Each proximal support member 78 has a section that is inserted into the support medium 16 inside the plant pot 12, typically adjacent or near the inside of side wall 22, a section that spans over the upper edge 30 of the plant pot 12 and a section that engages the proximal side 42 of tray 26. The distal support member 80 has a section that engages the upper edge 30 of plant pot 12, a section that engages side wall 22 of plant pot 12 and a section that engages the tray 26 at or near the distal side 44 of tray 26.

In the preferred embodiment, as best shown in FIGS. 7 and 11, the proximal support members 78 comprise a substantially vertical anchor member 82, a span section 84 configured to span the upper edge 30 and, if applicable, lip 34 of plant pot 12, and a proximal side engaging means 86 configured to engage the proximal side 42 of tray 26. The anchor member 82, having a lower end 88 and an upper end 90, is sized and configured to be substantially inserted into the support medium 16 disposed inside plant pot 12, typically at or near the interior of side wall 22. The anchor member 82 should be sufficiently stiff to allow the user to push the lower end 88 down into the support medium 16 and to maintain the proximal support members 78 in substantial upstanding relation to the plant pot 12 so as to dispose the span section 84 above upper edge 30. The mass of the support medium 16 provides the physical support for the proximal support members 78 as they support the weight of the tray 26 and any objects placed on the upper surface 24 thereof. In a preferred configuration, the lower end 88 of anchor member 82 is shaped to form a stake or spike-like configuration for ease of inserting anchor member 82 into the support medium 16. If desired, proximal support members 78 can comprises a first anchor member 82 a and a second anchor member 82 b that are in moveable (e.g., slidable) relation to each other and an anchor connecting mechanism 83, such as a bolt, screw or the like, that locks the two components together so the user may adjust the length of anchor member 82 for different heights of plant pot 12, as shown in FIG. 18.

The span section 84, positioned at the upper end 90 of the anchor member 82, comprises a span member 92 that is sized and configured to span from anchor member 82 across the upper edge 30 and, if applicable, lip 34 at the top 20 of plant pot 12, and a leg member 94 that extends generally downward from the opposite end of where span member 92 connects to anchor member 82. If desired, span section 84 can comprise a first span member 92 a and a second span member 92 b in moveable (e.g., slidable) relation which are connected by a span connecting mechanism 93 that allows the user to adjust the length of span section 84 for a wider or narrower upper edge 30 and/or lip 34 at the top 20 of plant pot 12, as shown in FIG. 18. The upper end 90 of anchor member 82, span member 92 and leg member 94 define a generally upside down U-shaped structure that spans over the top 20 of plant pot 20, as best shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4.

The material for proximal support members 78 should be sufficiently rigid to allow the user to push down on the span section 84 to push the lower end 88 of anchor member 82 into the support medium 16 to install the plant pot tray 10 and to pull on span section 84 to pull anchor member 82 out of the support medium 16 when disassembling plant pot tray 10. If desired, the anchor member 82 of the proximal support members 78 can be pushed down into the support medium 16 until the span member 92 is in overlying relation to the upper edge 30 of plant pot 12. In a preferred embodiment, anchor member 82, span member 92 and leg member 94 have a rectangular cross-section and are made out of wrought iron or other metal. In an alternative configuration, shown in FIG. 19, the proximal support members 78 can include a resistance wing 95 that is attached to or attachable to anchor member 82 to provide resistance to support the tray 26 in plant pots 12 that have a relatively light weight support medium 16, such as silk or Styrofoam. Resistance wing 95 can be integrally formed with anchor member 82, fixedly attached to the anchor member 82 by welding, adhesive or the like or removably attached to anchor member 82 with a screw, bolt or other connector to allow the user to selectively utilize resistance wing 95.

The proximal side engaging means 86 is disposed at the lower end of leg member 94 and configured to engage the proximal side 42 of tray 26. In the preferred embodiment, the proximal side engaging means 86 comprises an upwardly turned hook element 96 that is configured to engage a corresponding component of the proximal side 42 of tray 26. In the embodiment where tray 26 comprises a tray frame 54, the hook element 96 and the frame member 58 at the proximal side 42 can be cooperatively configured such that the frame member 58 is received inside hook element 96, as best shown in FIGS. 4 and 16. If the tray 26 is a solid material, tray 26 can be formed with a cut-out area or the like to be engaged by hook element 96 or a separate cooperatively shaped hook-receiving element can be attached to the proximal side 42 of tray 26 for engagement with hook element 96. In one embodiment, the proximal side 42 of tray 26 merely rests inside the upturned hook element 96. If desired, however, the proximal side 42 of tray 26 can be secured to the hook element 96 with a securing means 98, shown in FIG. 16. The securing means 98 can be configured to interconnect the hook element 96 and the proximal side 42 of tray 26 in a manner that effectively locks the tray 26 to the hook element 96. The securing means 98 can be a pin or the like that is received through the hook element 96 and the proximal side 42 of tray 26, which may be through a frame member 58, and then secured with a cotter pin, detent device or other pin securing mechanism. Alternatively, the securing means can be a screw, bolt or other device that is configured to join the proximal side 42 of tray 26 to hook element 96. Preferably, securing means 98 is of the type that allows the user to quickly and easily assemble or disassemble the plant pot tray 10.

As set forth above, distal support member 80 is configured to attach to or towards the distal side 44 of tray 26 so as to support tray 26 substantially adjacent the top 20 of plant pot 12 with the upper surface 24 of tray 26 generally horizontal to provide a table-like surface that one or more objects may be placed thereon. The first end 100 of distal support member 80 attaches to the upper edge 30 and/or lip 34 of plant pot 12 and the second end 102 thereof attaches to or generally towards distal side 44 of tray 26 to support tray 26 in an outwardly extending position relative to the top 20 of plant pot 20, as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 4. In the preferred embodiment, shown in FIGS. 7 through 9,11 and 12, the distal support member 80 comprises an edge engaging section 104 at the first end 100 and a distal side engaging means 106 at the second end 102, with a wall engaging section 108 and an outwardly extending section 110 disposed therebetween. The edge engaging section 104 is configured to straddle and engage the upper edge 30 and, if applicable, lip 34 at the top 20 of plant pot 12, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. In a preferred embodiment, the edge engaging section 104 comprises a span member 112 that spans across, typically in overlying relation, the top edge 30 and lip 34 of plant pot 12, a first leg member 114 extending downward from the span member 112 inside the plant pot 12 to engage the inner side of side wall 22 at the top 20 of plant pot 12 and a second leg member 116 that extends downward from the span member 112 outside the plant pot 12 to terminate at its lower end with wall engaging section 108. As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the wall engaging section 108 is configured to engage the side wall 22 of plant pot 12 when the edge engaging section 104 is in place over the upper edge 30 and lip 34 at the top 20 of plant pot 12. The weight of the tray 26 and any objects placed thereon will push the wall engaging section 108 against the side wall 22 of plant pot 12 while the edge engaging section 104 will hold the distal support member 80, with first leg member 114 engaging the inside of side wall 22 at the top 20 of plant pot 12, in place on plant pot 12. As such, the side wall 22 of plant pot 12 will provide the support necessary for the distal support member 80 to support the distal side 44 of tray 26 in a manner that disposes the upper surface 24 of tray 26 in a generally horizontal position.

The outwardly extending section 110 of distal support member 80 interconnects the wall engaging section 108, which is placed in engaging relation with the side wall 22 of plant pot 12, and the distal side engaging means 106, which will, in a preferred embodiment, connect to and supportedly engage the distal side 44 of tray 26. In the preferred embodiment, the outwardly extending section 110 is adjustable in length to allow a single distal support member 80 to be utilized with plant pots 12 having differently configured side walls 22. A plant pot 12 having an outwardly disposed side wall 22, such as shown in FIG. 2, will generally require a shorter length outwardly extending section 110 than a plant pot 12 having a side wall 22 that does not extend outward, such as shown in FIG. 4. In this embodiment, the outwardly extending section 110 will comprise a first extending member 118 and a second extending member 120 that are slidably joined by a connecting means 122, as shown in FIGS. 7, 8 and 11, that is configured to allow the user to easily and quickly adjust the length of the outwardly extending section 110. In the embodiment shown, the connecting means 122 comprises a wing nut component and a sleeve. Other configurations for connecting means 122 are well known to those skilled in the art. In the preferred embodiment, the wall engaging section 108 is removably attached to the outwardly extending section 110, at first extending member 118, to allow the user to replace the edge engaging section 104 and the wall engaging section 108 as needed to better fit the configuration and/or size of plant pot 12. For instance, FIG. 9 shows an alternative edge 104 and wall 108 engaging sections for a smaller sized round plant pot 12 as a replacement component for the distal support member of FIGS. 7 and 8. In the embodiment of FIG. 9, the first leg member 114 is bent inward more in order to better engage the inside of side wall 22 at the top 20 of plant pot 12 and the wall engaging section 108 is more curved to better engage the side wall 22 to support the distal side 44 of tray 26. In an alternative embodiment, shown in FIG. 12, the distal support member 80 is a single component having a one piece extension member 124 that is fixedly or integrally attached to the second leg member 116. Preferably, the entire distal support member 80 of this embodiment is integrally formed.

As set forth above, in the preferred embodiment the distal side engaging means 106 at the second end 100 of distal support member 80 is configured to engage the distal side 44 of tray 26 so as to support tray 26 with objects thereon and to dispose the upper surface 24 of tray 26 in a substantially horizontal position to provide a table-like structure adjacent plant pot 12. The distal side engaging means 106 of distal support member 80 is sized and configured to engage a tray engaging means 126 at or towards, preferably at least near, the distal side 44 of tray 26, as best shown in FIGS. 2, 4, 6 and 10. In the embodiment of FIGS. 2 and 6, the tray engaging means 126 comprises a small vertically disposed tab member 128. The distal side engaging means 106 of FIGS. 7 and 8 comprises an upwardly disposed seat element 130 that is sized and configured to securely receive the tab member 128 therein to hold the distal side 44 of tray 26 in place. In this embodiment, the seat element 130 is closed on its ends and sides, only open at the top, so the tab member 128 cannot pivot, slide or otherwise move inside the seat element 130 when the plant pot tray 10 is in its assembled condition. Preferably, the tab member 128 is fixedly attached or integral with the distal side 44 of tray 26 or, if utilized, a frame member 58 on the distal side 44 of tray frame 54, as shown in FIG. 6. Alternatively, tab member 128 can be located between the proximal side 42 and the distal side 44 of tray 26, preferably at least sufficiently near distal side 44 to safely support tray 26. In an alternative embodiment, which is shown in FIGS. 4 and 10 through 12, the tray engaging means 126 is a component of the tray 26 itself at the distal side 44 thereof, such as a frame member 58 of tray frame 54. In this embodiment, the seat element 130 is a generally U-shaped component that is sized and configured to receive a section of a frame member 58 inside the seat element 130, as best shown in FIG. 4. In a preferred configuration of this embodiment, the frame member 58 at the distal side 44 of tray 26 merely rests inside the seat element 130. Alternatively, the seat element 130 can engage a section of frame 54 that is positioned between the proximal side 42 and distal side 44 of tray 26. In an alternative configuration, for any of the embodiments set forth above, a securing mechanism can be utilized to securely attach seat element 130 to the tray engaging means 126, which comprises either tab member 128 or the frame member 54 at the distal side 44 of tray 26. The securing mechanism can be the same as or similar to the securing means 98 described above.

As stated above, one of the advantages of the plant pot tray 10 of the preferred embodiments is that the user can add a tray 26 to a plant pot 12 without drilling any holes in the plant pot, utilizing an adhesive or other material that sticks to and, often, permanently becomes part of the plant pot 12 or causing any damage, including scratches, marring or the like, to the plant pot 12. The plant pot tray 10 of the present invention can be easily added to the plant pot 12 when the user desires to have a tray 26 adjacent thereto or removed from the plant pot 12 when the tray 26 is not needed. If desired, the plant pot tray 10 can also include one or more cushioning materials that are disposed between the tray support means 36 and the plant pot 12 where components of the tray support means 36 contact the plant pot 12 to further reduce the likelihood of any damage to the plant pot 12. The cushioning material can be any type of relatively soft material, including cloth, rubber, leather, foam or the like, that can be selectively placed between the tray support means 36 and plant pot 12. Alternatively, the components of the tray support means 36 can be coated or otherwise fixedly or removably covered with a material that lessens the likelihood of damaging the plant pot 12.

Various decorative and/or functional items can be utilized with the plant pot tray 10 of the present invention in addition to those described above. Many of these items can be either fixedly or removably attached to one or more components of the plant pot tray 10. For instance, the span members 92 and 112, the seat element 130 and/or the tray frame 54 and tray insert 56 of tray 26 can include one or more apertures which are configured to removably receive a decorative item such as a cross, fleur de lis, rosette or other decorative item. In one embodiment, the apertures can be threadably configured and the decorative items be threadably received into the aperture to allow the user to easily attach or remove the item, such as for a particular occasion, holiday or seasonally. Other means of attaching a decorative item to one or more of the components of plant pot tray 10, whether removably or fixedly, are generally well known in the art.

In use, the user selects a plant pot tray 10 that is configured for the size and type of plant pot 12 that he or she desires to have a table-like upper surface 24 disposed along or near the top 20 of the plant pot 12. Generally, the user will select a tray 26 that has a proximal profile 50 that is in corresponding relation to the edge profile 32 of the upper edge 30 of the plant pot 12, for instance choosing a tray 26 with a curved proximal profile 50 for a plant pot 12 having a round or oval edge profile 32 and choosing a tray 26 with a linear proximal profile 50 for a plant pot having a square or rectangular edge profile 32. The user will place the tray supporting means 36, which in the preferred embodiment comprises a pair of proximal support members 78 and a distal support member 80, in position on the plant pot 12 to receive tray 26. The anchor member 82 of each proximal support member 78 a/78 b are inserted through the opening 28 of the plant pot 12 into the support medium 16 disposed therein, typically along or near the inside of side wall 22 of plant pot 12, by pushing down on span member 92 of span section 84. The proximal support members 78 are placed in plant pot 12 with the span section 84 disposed above or in overlying relation to the upper edge 30 and lip 34 of the plant pot 12 to position the hook element 96 of proximal side engaging means 86 outside the plant pot 12 where the tray 26 is desired. The edge engaging section 104 of the distal support member 80 placed on the upper edge 30 and lip 34 of plant pot 12, typically in overlying relation thereto, with the first leg member 114 against the inside of the side wall 22 at the top 20 of plant pot 12 and the outwardly extending section 110 directed toward the location where the distal side 44 of the tray 26 will be positioned. The wall engaging section 108 is placed against the side wall 22 of plant pot 12 and the length of the outwardly extending section 110 is adjusted as necessary. The tray 26 is then placed on the tray supporting means 36 by placing the proximal side 42 into the hook elements 96 of the proximal support members 78 a/78 b and the tray engaging means 126 in engagement with the distal side engaging means 106. Typically, this will require the user to place the tab member 128 in the seat element 130 or place a section of the frame member 58 at or near the distal side 44 of tray 26 inside seat element 130.

Once in position, the tray 26 will provide an upwardly disposed table-like upper surface 24 that the user can place one or more objects, such as a glass 38 or bowl 40, thereon when sitting next to the plant pot. The support for the tray 26 and the objects thereon is provided by the engagement of the anchor members 82 with the support medium 16, the edge engaging section 104 against the upper edge 30 of plant pot 12 and the wall engaging section 108 against the side wall 22 of plant pot 12. As such, the weight of the tray 26 and the objects placed thereon is only limited by the strength of the components of plant pot tray 10, the ability of the support medium 16 to hold the anchor members 82 in place and the strength of the side wall 22 of plant pot 12. With the plant pot tray 10 of the present invention in place, the user will have a table-like upper surface 24 next to the plant pot 12 without requiring a the user to supply a separate table that will likely block the plant pot 12 and the plants 14 therein and/or movement of the plant pot 12 away from the seating facilities or movement of the seating facilities away from the plant pot 12 to make room for a table. The user can quickly and easily assemble plant pot tray 10 when needed and then disassemble plant pot tray 10 when not needed.

While there are shown and described herein specific forms of the invention, it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention is not so limited, but is susceptible to various modifications and rearrangements in design and materials without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. In particular, it should be noted that the present invention is subject to various modification with regard to any dimensional relationships set forth herein and modifications in assembly, materials, size, shape and use. For instance, there are numerous components described herein that can be replaced with equivalent functioning components to accomplish the objectives of the present invention.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6789916 *Jun 21, 2002Sep 14, 2004Adjusta-Post Manufacturing Company, Inc.Portable lamp post assembly
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7788850 *Mar 24, 2009Sep 7, 2010Everett ColburnGround planting pot
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/42
International ClassificationA47B37/00, A47B5/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47G23/06
European ClassificationA47G23/06