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Publication numberUS3803760 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 16, 1974
Filing dateAug 11, 1972
Priority dateAug 11, 1972
Publication numberUS 3803760 A, US 3803760A, US-A-3803760, US3803760 A, US3803760A
InventorsMatvey J
Original AssigneeMatvey J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vegetation inhibiting structure
US 3803760 A
Abstract
A vegetation inhibiting member for protective placement adjacent exterior wall-like surfaces. At least one guard element having an outer body portion and an inner seal portion. A plurality of guard elements may cooperate to define a closed protective frame which may be of any desired configuration. Each guard element body portion provided with an outer depending ground engaging leg and an inner depending ground engaging leg. The seal portion being formed integrally with the body portion and projecting inwardly for assuming resiliently maintained sealing contact with the wall-like surface. Hidden splice means for joining abutting edges of adjacent guard elements and corner elements which serve to define the closed frame. The seal portion may be made of a resilient plastic material and the body portion may be composed of a substantially rigid plastic material.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Matvey ]*Apr. 16, 1974 VEGETATION INHIBITING STRUCTURE Primary Examiner-Robert E. Pulfrey [76] Inventor: Joseph J. Matvey, 20s Orin St., Exami'ler,cliffrd Pittsburgh, 15235 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Arnold B. S1lverman Notice: The portion of the term of this [57] ABSTRACT g zi :1 1988 A vegetation inhibiting member for protective placeas een alme ment adjacent exterior wall-like surfaces. At least one [22] Filed: Aug. 11, 1972 guard element having an outer body portion and an I inner seal portion. A plurality of guard elements may {21] App! 279958 cooperate to define a closed protective frame which may be of any desired configuration. Each guard ele- [52] US. Cl. 47/33, 52/102 ment body portion provided with an outer depending [51] Int. Cl E04h 13/00 round engaging leg and an inner depending ground g [58] Field of Search 47/33; 52/102, 103, 104, en aging leg. The seal portion being formed integrally 8 52/585; 46/31; 277/208 with the body portion and projecting inwardly for as suming resiliently maintained sealing contact with the 56] References Cited wall-like surface. Hidden splice means for joining UNITED STATES PATENTS abutting edges of adjacent guard elements and corner 3 619 944 H H971 Manley 47/33 elements which serve to define the closed frame. The 3:578:027 5/1971 Zopfi ...I:III:III:II:I::xlljjrefi/zos seal may be made a resilient Plastic material and the body portion may be composed of a substantially rigid plastic material.

18 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEUAPR 16 m4 3803760 SHEET 2 BF 3 FIG. 5.

VEGETATION INHIBITING STRUCTURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a vegetation inhibiting member adapted for effective sealing engagement with a wall-like surface and more specifically this invention relates to such a member which is adapted to be employed as a unitary member or as a unit in a closed multi-sided vegetation inhibiting frame to resist the growth of vegetation in the earth underlying the same and between the member and the wall-like surface or surfaces with which it is engaged.

2. Description of the Prior Art As a result of the ever increasing labor cost of maintaining control of vegetation in residential, commercial and cemetery environments, there has been increased recognition of the need to adopt effective means for minimizing the amount of labor required. The same objective exists in connection with the desire of those doing their own maintenance of grass and other vegetation to increase the amount of leisure time available for recreation. In general, this trend has resulted in increased use of motorized maintenance equipment and a reduced amount of time consuming hand maintenance. While power devices such as power mowers effectively reduce the amount of time required to maintain open expanses of lawn, in lawn portions closely adjacent vertical wall-like surfaces and other obstructions such as houses, garden borders and grave marking devices in cemeteries, the power mowers cannot travel sufficiently close to the wall-like surfaces to entirely eliminate the need for hand trimming by either manual or power trimmers. Mowers traveling too close to the wall or grave marking device increase the risk of damaging contact between them. As the vegetation in the absence of regular trimming tends to grow out of control and become unsightly, hand trimming, as by manual or power trimmers, has been a necessity if an aesthetically pleasing appearance is to be maintained.

It has been known to employ various types of physical barriers to extension of vegetation growth-into undesired areas. For example, on lawns it has been known ,to place barriers such as edging strips, wood chips,

stones or other obstructions to grass extension. In connection with the growth of grass around grave marking structures such as tombstones,- it has been suggested to provide a structural border which is placed around the tombstone base in order to prevent vegetation growth thereunder. See US. Pat. No- 3,477,181.

With respect to such barrier structures it is important that they be so designed as to effectively inhibit vegetation while providing a durable and economical means of accomplishing vegetation control. The structure must, be capable of withstanding variations in climate without deterioration in structure or appearance. Also, it must have sufficient structural integrity to resist oc-' casional accidental orintensional loads placed on it by either human beings stepping on the same or equipment such as power mowers rolling over the same. In addition, the protective members must be capable of being easily installed by means of relatively unskilled or semi-skilled labor. Finally, for certain installations such as cemetery use these required features must be so combined as to satisfy the rigid requirements with regard to both performance and appearance established by the various cemeteries.

My US. Pat. No. 3,619,944 discloses a vegetation inhibiting guard in which a separate seal element is secured within a channel of the guard element in order to provide for the desired structural and sealing characteristics in the resulting vegetation inhibiting member.

Many of the prior art devices have been defective with resepct to one or more of the above enumerated properties. As a result, there remains a very substantial need for a vegetation inhibiting member adapted for use with a broad range of exterior wall-like surfaces where the above characteristics are necessary or desirable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The vegetation inhibiting member of this invention provides the above described desirable features and solves the above described problems in an effective manner.

The vegetation inhibiting member is adapted for resiliently maintained sealed substantially coextensive engagement with one or more exterior wall-like surfaces in order to resist vegetation growth therebetween and under the vegetation inhibiting member. It may be provided in the form of a closed member composed of a number of guard elements and/or comer elements which provide a substantially coextensive, complementary configuration with respect to the wall surfaces to be engaged.

The guard element of the present invention has an outwardly disposed body portion and an inwardly disposed seal portion. The body portion has a'downwardly depending outer support leg and a downwardly depending inner support leg. The seal portion is formed integrally with the body portion and projects inwardly in order to assume resiliently maintained sealing contact with the wall-like surface. The seal member may preferably be cantilevered inwardly so as to be flexed either upwardly or downwardly or project directly into the wall-like surface when in sealing engagement. Alternatively, in another preferred form, the sealing member may assume a tubular configuration. In order to enhance sealing characteristics, the sealing member, which may be generally web-like in crosssectional configuration, may be provided with one or more fins for enhancing resiliently maintained sealing interen'gagement with a wall-like surface.

A uniform exterior frame appearance is provided by abutting joints established between the frame defining elements (guard elements and/or corner elements) by means of a splice which is hidden from view when in secured position. The splice elements are adapted to be slidingly received within confronting ends of adjacent aligned frame defining elements and positioned in underlying relationship with respect to portions thereof. Fastening means secure the splice elements to the abutted frame elements. The splice element may have an upper surface which is of generally complementary configuration with respect to the overlying surface of the body portion of the frame defining elements.

A substantially rigid frame of fixed dimension having effective ground engagement and resilient substantially continuous sealing engagement with respect to the wall-like surface or surfaces is provided.

. surrounding a tombstone.

It is an object of this invention to provide a vegetation inhibiting structure which effectively and economically serves to retard the growth of grass, weeds and other undesired vegetation adjacent to exterior walllike structures. w

It is another object of this invention to provide a closed frame-like structure composed of effectively joined adjacent vegetation inhibiting elements which provides a uniform aesthetically pleasing exterior appearance and has hidden joint forming elements.

It is another object of this invention to provide such a vegetation inhibiting structure wherein sealing means of a resilient nature may be formed as a unit with the body portion of the closed frame in order to provide for effective positively maintained sealing against tombstones and other similar exterior multi-sided structures.

It is another object of this invention to provide a vegetation inhibiting element which is adapted to effectively prevent vegetation growth thereunder and also to provide an integrally formed continuous sealing member'to prevent vegetation growth between the vegetation inhibiting element and the wall-like surface with which the sealing member is engaged.

It is'yet another object of this invention to provide such a vegetation inhibiting structure which may beeconomically produced and readily installed by unskilled or semi-skilled labor.

These and other objects of the invention will be mor fully understood from the following description of the invention, on reference to the illustrations appended hereto.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of a vegetation inhibiting member in accordance with this invention protectively FIG. 2 is a partial sectional elevation illustrating a detail of the portion of the frame taken through 22 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 illustrates a cross sectional view of a guard or corner element of this invention.

FIG. 4-illustrates a cross sectional view of a splicing element of this invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates a top plan view of a form of corner element of this invention.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional illustration of the corner element shown in FIG. 5 taken through 6-.6.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary plan view illustrating a corner joint and guard element butt joint.

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional illustration of a portion of the guard element butt joint of FIG. 7 taken through 88.

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary cross sectional illustration of a modified form of guard element having a tubular form of sealing portion.

FIG. 9a is a fragmentary cross sectional illustration of the sealing portion of FIG. 9 in contact with a wall-like surface.

FIG. 10 is a cross sectional illustration of a modified form of guard element of this'invention.

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary cross sectional illustration showing a modified form of guard element of this invention.

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary cross sectional illustration showing the modified guard element of FIG. 11 in resiliently maintained sealing contact with wall-like surface.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now more specifically to the drawings with particular reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a tombstone 2 having a tombstone base 4 and a protective frame 6 sealingly positioned therearound. The protective frame 6 is composed. of a number of substantially straight guard elements 8 which are connected to a number of corner elements 10 in a fashion to be described in greater detail below. The guard elements 8 are preferably longitudinally substantially continuous and of substantially unifomi cross section throughout their length.

Referring now to FIG. 2, it is seen that the guard element 8 is provided with a body portion 14 and a seal portion 16. In the form illustrated, the seal portion 16 has been integrally formed with respect to the body portion 14. The terms unitary," integrally formed" and words of similar import as used herein in respect of the structural relationship between the body portion 14 and the seal portion 16 shall be employed to include structures formed as a unit as by extrusion, molding and dual extrusion (sometimes referred to as coextrusion), as well as separate fabrication with intimate bonding being effected as by self-bonding, adhesive bonding, heat welding and other means which establish a structure which physically and functionally is a single unit, as distinguished from a member having merely mechanically interengaged parts.

It is noted that the body portion 14 has an outer downwardly'depending support leg 18 terminating in an inwardly directed flange 20 which is in surface to surface contact with the underlying earth 22. The terms earth, ground and words of similar import as used herein shall be employed to refer to the underlying material over which the guard element or the frame lies and protectively shelters be it soil, some substitute material such as mulch, peat moss or other vegetation sustaining substance, or any other supporting material which is positioned under the element or frame. The body portion 14 also has an inner downwardly depending supporting leg 26 terminating in a generally T- shaped flange 28 which is also preferably in surface to surface contact with the earth 22. While support legs 18, 26 could be provided with a lower terminus in the form of a downwardly directed edge, it is preferred to provide transverse flanges such as flanges 20, 28 as these serve to enhance the effectiveness of the ground engagement and also contribute added longitudinal stiffness to the body portion 14. I v

In the form shown in FIG. 2, the seal portion 16 has been resiliently downwardly deformed into resiliently maintained contact with vertical wall .30 of tombstone base 4. This sealing relationship is preferably substantially continuous longitudinally about the entire periphery of tombstone base 4; As used herein, the reference to grave marking structure shall include tombstone bases, tombstones and other forms of monuments and markers employed in connection with graves, as well as portions thereof, be they of smooth or rough or rock surface finish.

Referring once again to FIG. 2, it is noted that body portion 14 has a generally web-like configuration be.- tween legs 18, 26. In the form illustrated, this web-like portion of the body portion 14 has a generally horizontally disposed outer portion and upwardly and inwardly directed inner portion. A configuration with an outward slope is preferred as it facilitates discharge of impinging water harmlessly exteriorly of the frame. If desired, however, a substantially horizontal profile or one which slopes inwardly might be provided. The body portion 14, in the form shown, is directed outwardly and slightly downwardly in finite stages by means of a number of steps which will be discussed below. The body portion 14 defines a hollow region thereunder and serves as a light barrier and a physical obstruction to the growth of vegetation between support leg 18 and support leg 26. The seal portion 16, which is in resiliently maintained sealing relationship with respect to tombstone base 4, serves to provide a light barrier and a physical obstruction to vegetation growth between inner leg 26 and wall surface 30 of tombstone base 4. In this fashion, the guard element 8 of this invention serves to provide effective light barriers and physical barriers which resist undesired growth of vegetation.

Referring now more specifically to FIG. 3, a form of guard element 8 of this invention will be considered in greater detail. It is noted that the outer leg 18 is substantially shorter than the inner leg 26. This reduction in height of the body portion 14 as it extends outwardly serves to facilitate drainage of moisture. As has'been mentioned above, in this preferred form of the invention, the inner section of the body portion 14 slopes upwardly and inwardly and the outer portion is generally horizontal. The term horizontal as used herein in this context with respect to guard element 8 shall include structures having a slight reduction in elevation as it extends toward the outer extremity, whether the reductions are effected in finite stages as by steps 32 or by a gradual slope. In the form employing steps 32, an added advantage is obtained as the steps 32 function as longitudinal stifieners of the body portion 14.

As is further shown in FIG. 3, the sealing portion 16 has been integrally formed with the body portion 14 with the line of division being designated by the number 34 for convenience of reference. The sealing portion 16 has a transverse width substantially less than that of body portion 14. It is noted that the seal portion 16 is connected to the body portion 14 at the innermost part of portion 14 (or adjacent the innermost portion thereof, if desired) and is cantilevered inwardly therefrom. Also, it is noted that the seal portion 16 extends inwardly and slightly upwardly with its thickness being reduced as it approaches free end 36 of seal portion 16. If desired, the free end 36 may be positioned against the wall-like surface to create the primary seal, but it will generally be preferable to bend the seal portion 16 upwardly or downwardly in order to create a larger region of sealing.

Referring now to F IGS. 3 and 4, a form of joining system of this invention will be considered. It is noted that the body portion 14 is provided with an inwardly open channel 40 which is disposed in underlying relationship with respect to the web-like body portion. The channel 40 is disposed closely adjacent the outermost portionof the body portion 14 and is defined by support leg 18, flange and the overlying section of body portion 14. An outwardly open channel 42 is defined by rib 44, which emerges from inner leg 26, in cooperation with the upper portion of leg 26 and the overlying section of body portion 14.

As is shown in FIG. 4, a splice element has a generally complementary configuration with respect to the web-like portion of body portion 14. It has an upwardly and inwardly directed sector 50 and a series of steps 52 which reduce the splice elevation as the splice member extends toward outennost marginal edge 54. In effecting joinder of two adjacent guard elements 8 in a manner which will be more fully described below, the splice member is slidingly inserted into the aligned guard element 8 in such fashion that marginal edge 54 is disposed within channel 40 and the opposite marginal edge 56 is positioned within channel 42 of each guard element 8. The steps 52 will then be in complementary underlying relationship with respect to steps 32 and sloping wall 50 will be in underlying complementary relationship with respect to the sloping wall of body portion 14. While one may rely upon frictional retention of the splice member to retain the joint, it is preferable to provide supplemental joint retaining means, such as adhesives or fasteners.

Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, a form of corner element of this invention will now be considered. In the form shown, the corner element has a plurality of steps 32 similar to those shown in guard element 8 and, in

general, has substantially the same cross sectional configuration as guard element 8, except for the slightly different dimensionsjat the outermost portion of the corner intersection. If desired, this right angular exterior intersection could be curved to provide a frame with rounded exterior comers. The corner element illustrated has been formed by molding it as a unitary article. If desired, one might establish mitered comers by joining two angularly cut sections.

In the form shown, the comer element is provided with a pair of outwardly projecting integrally formed splice elements 60, 62 which have been either molded into the corner element or bonded thereto as contrasted with the form of separate splice elements shown in FIG. 4. As is shown more clearly in FIG. 6, the splice member 62 is bonded in intimate surface to surface underlying relationship with respect to the upper surface 76 of the corner member and is of generally complementary relationship with respect thereto. These splice elements 60, 62 originate at a position underlying the web-like portion of the corner element and emerge into the exposed sections illustrated beyond edges 64, 66 shown in FIG. 5. These splice members 60, 62 are preferably provided with preformed fastener receiving openings 70 to facilitate frame assembly. In effecting joinder of a corner element of the type shown in FIG. 5 to a guard element 8, the projecting portion of splice member 60 or 62 is inserted into underlying relationship with respect to the web-like section of body portion 14 with, in the case of splice 60, outer edge 72 being received within channel 40 and inner edge 74 being received within channel 42. One may then insert suitable fastening means through body portion 14 and openings 70 to secure the joint. Among the suitable fastener means contemplated by this invention are pop rivets, bolts or screws or any other suitablestructurally adequate durable fasteners. Also, adhesives could be employed in lieu of or in addition to fasteners.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary top plan view illustrating both corner and straight section joints employing splice members of the present invention. As is shown toward the right hand portion of FIG. 7, a guard element 8a has been secured to a guard element 8b by means of comer element 10. It is noted that the splice member 62 has been received within the channels 40, 42 (not shown in this view) of guard member 8b and fasteners 78 permanently secure the joint therebetween. It is further noted that the joint established is a butt joint 80 which effectively conceals the underlying splice member 62 from view. Similarly, splice member 60 creates butt joint 82 while remaining concealed from view. It is noted that in the interior corner region, the seal member 16b of guard member 8b overlaps the seal member 160 of guard member 8a to contribute to longitudinal seal continuity. While it will generally be advantageous to provide an integrally formed splice member within the corner element, if desired, the corner element may be provided without such a splice and a separate splice member of the general type shown in FIG. 4 may be employed in joining guard elements 8 and corner elements 10. Also, if desired, an integral splice member could be provided in a guard element 8 to be joined to a corner element or another guard element 8.

To provide a further detailed description of the use of a separate splice member in joining of guard element 8b to guard element 80, reference is made to the left hand portion of FIG. 7. In the form'shown, a splice member 86 has approximately one-half secured in generally underlying relationship with respect to guard member 8c and one-half secured in general underlying relationship with respect toguard element 8b with its inner zmdp te marginal edges secured withinchannfili.

40, 42 of each guard element 8b, 8c. The splice member 86 serves to provide a concealed'means of establishing butt joint 88' while establishing firm durable mechanical connection therebetween. Fasteners 78 have been used to secure the butt joint 88. As is shown in FIG. 8, the splice member'86-remains firmly secured in underlying relationship with respect to the body portion 90 of guard element 81) in a position generally spaced above the underlying earth 92.

As is shown in FIG. 8, the seal portion 16 in the solid line version is shown in its natural position and in the dotted version 16 is shown in a downwardly deflected resiliently sealinglyengaged position with respect to wall surface 94. It is noted that the free end 96' is in contact with the earth 92. This contact tends to further resist any tendency for the seal maintained against wall surface 94 to become unseated. Asis shown in FIG. 8, the upper surface of splice 86 has a complementary configuration with respect to the lower surface of body portion 90 as this preferred relationship permits maximum physical interconnection therebetween. This is not essential, however. Also, the upper and lower surfaces of the guard element body portion 90 need not be of identical profile. For example, the upper surface could he stepped and the lower surface smooth. Similarly, the splice member could have different shapes provided in the upper and lower surfaces.

Referring-nowtoFlGS. 9 and 9a, a description will be provided of another preferred embodiment of this invention. In this embodiment, the body portion 100 has been shown only in part as it may be basically of the same configuration as other embodiments of the invention. In general, an inner depending supporting leg 102 is provided with a terminal flange 104. Seal portion 106 has anupper extremity secured to body portion .100 at junction 108 and a lower portion secured to leg 102 at juncture 110. This serves to provide a tubular form of sealing member defining a hollow interior 112. This structure may be provided by direct extrusion, extrusion of one connection 108, 110 and subsequent joinder to create the other, dual extrusion of the two joints 108, 1 10 or adhesive joinder or bonding of one or both of the connections, for example. As is true with the other embodiments of this invention, this structure is preferably longitudinally substantially continuous and of generally uniform cross section throughout its length.

As is shown in FIG. 9a, the seal portion 106 is in resiliently maintained sealing engagement with wall surface 116 and has its lower surface 118 in contact with the underlying earth 120. It is noted that the hollow interior 112 has changed configuration slightly as a result of compression of the tubular seal 106.

While for purposes of convenience of illustration, the seal portion of the present invention has generally been illustrated as being in contact with smooth wall surfaces, it will be appreciated that the invention is equally suited and may be particularly advantageously employed with rock face or irregularly faced wall surfaces. The resiliently maintained sealing action willtend to contribute to seal continuity by urging the sealing member into recesses within the wall surfaces and will compensate for outwardly projecting surfaces. If desired, additional means may be provided to further enhance the sealing characteristics of this invention whether it is being employed with smooth or rough surface'd walls. As is shown in FIG. 10, a guard element has a body portion 132 having a smooth-generally uniform outwardly and downwardly sloping upper wall and depending legs 134, 136 each having a generally L -shaped flange. The sealing portion 140 is provided with three sealing fins 142, 144, 146, which in the form shown are generally coextensive with seal portion 140,

project upwardly from the upper surface of the seal 140 and are directed angularly outwardly and. upwardly. The fins 142, 144, 146 are preferably longitudinally continuous. As is shown in the dotted form of seal 140' in addition to the resiliently maintained sealing action of sealing portion 140, fins 142, 144, 146 serve to engage the wall surface 150 and provide for greater sealing action. The sealing fins 142, 144, 146 are preferably of reduced average thickness with respect to the sealing portion 140 and as a result provide increased resiliency to fill voids in the wall surfaces. It will be appreciated, that in most instances, a single sealing fin 142 will provide more than adequate supplementary sealing means, but two, three or more such fins may be employed, if desired. Also, the sealing portion 140 may be positioned to be in surface to surface contact with the wall surface 150 in addition to the fin contact.

Referring now to FIGS. 11 and 12, a modifiedform of seal which is adapted to be sealed by resiliently deforming the same upwardly is shown. In this form, fins 162, 164, 166 project from the lower surface of the seal 160 and are directed generally downwardly and outwardly. In FIG. 12 the seal is shown as being resiliently upwardly deformed and the sealing element 160 and 162, 164, 166 are in sealing engagement with wall surface 168. As was true in connection with fins 142, 144, 146, a single fin 162, 164, 166 will generally provide adequate supplemental sealing means, but additional fins may be employed, if desired; It should further be noted that while for purposes of illustration the preferred orientation of the fins has been shown and gularly inwardly may also be employed, if desired. For purposes of simplicity of manufacture and adaptability of the product for various uses, a sealing element 160 may be provided with both upper and lower fins.

The guard elements and corner elements (as well as the splice elements) may be made from a wide range of materials. Among the preferred materials are plastics such as vinyls, polyesters and polyolefins or rubber or combinations thereof. Among the specific preferred materials are polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene and polypropylene. A generally advantageous practice of this invention results in the manufacture of a guard element or corner element which has a body portion composed of a substantially rigid plastic material and a sealing element composed of a resilient plastic material. This may readily be accomplished by dual extrusion processes. In fact, one might, for example, employ a polyvinyl chloride for both the body portion and seal portion, but provide a significant quantity of plasticizer in the material out of which the seal will be made in order to provide the desired resilient sealing characteristics.

While it generally will not be necessary to provide means for anchoring the protective structures of the present invention to the ground, hidden anchoring means such as downwardly projecting stakes ornails depending from a splice section as is suggested in my U.S. Pat. No. 3,619,944 or other suitable means may be provided, if desired.

It will therefore be appreciated that the vegetation inhibiting member ofthis invention provides an effectively sealed structural retardant to undesired vegetation growth against exterior wall-like surfaces and more specifically generally vertical wall-like surfaces. Where a multi-sided object is to be'completely protected the guard elements and corner elements of this invention may be suitably joined to provide a closed frame-like vegetation inhibiting structure. This may readily be accomplished by a uniquely designed splice element which is adapted to be slidingly received within adjacent frame elements to provide a concealed butt type joint. The exterior appearance of the frame member provides a uniform aesthetically pleasing appearance. The frame is provided with a resilient sealing strip which is substantially coextensive therewith and adapted to effectively resiliently seal substantially coextensively against the wall-like surfaces.

It will further be appreciated that the vegetation inhibiting member of this invention may be economically manufactured and readily installed by means of unskilled or semi-skilled labor. The vegetation inhibiting member may be economically manufactured from plasticmaterials by conventional means such as extrusion, molding or dual extrusion.

While for purposes of specific illustration reference has been made throughout the discussion to a tombstone-like grave marking structure, it will be appreciated that the invention may be employed with a number of types of structures having exterior wall-like surfaces adjacent to the earth such as against buildings, walkways, patios and in gardens, for example.

While for purposes of illustration reference has been made herein to generally straight guard elements usableeither alone or joined to establish a generally rectangular frame, it will be appreciated that the invention is equally applicable to curved or longitudinally irregularly configurated members usable either alone or joined to create other forms of closed frames including circular or oval shaped frames.

Whereas particular embodiments of the invention have been described above for purposes of illustration,

5 it will be evident to those skilled in the art that numerous variations of the details may be made without departing from the invention as defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A vegetation inhibiting member for protective placement adjacent exterior wall-like surfaces comprising at least one unitary guard element having an outwardly disposed body portion and an inwardly disposed seal portion,

said body portion having downwardly depending outer and inner support legs, and

said seal portion being formed integrally with said I body portion and projecting inwardly for assuming resiliently maintained sealing contact with said wall-like surface, whereby said guard element is adapted to define a vegetation free region between said wall-like surface and said outer support leg. 2. The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 1 including said seal portion being secured to said body portion at or'generally adjacent the innermost portion of said body portion by a continuous intimate bond established by dual extrusion, and said seal portion being longitudinally substantially continuous and substantially coextensive with said body portion. 3. The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 1 including said seal portion being composed of a resilient plastic material, and said body portion being composed of a substantially rigid plastic material. 4. The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 1 including said seal portion having a generally web-like cross sectional configuration and extending generally inwardly to a free end thereof. 5. The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 4 including said body portion extending generally upwardly as it extends inwardly to establish a greater height at its inner extremity than at its outer extremity, and

said seal portion having a greater average thickness adjacent said body portion than adjacent saidfree end. 6. The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 4 insaid body portion having a generally horizontal outer portion and a generally upwardly and inwardly directed inner portion. 9. The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 8 including said inner and outer support legs each terminating in stabilizing flanges which are substantially horizontally disposed. 10. The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 1 including said seal portion having a generally web-like cross sectional configuration, and said seal portion extending generally inwardly, then generally downwardly and then generally outwardly to provide a generally tubular seal structure. 11. The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 10 including said web-like seal portion having an upper extremity and a lower portion each separately connected to said body portion by an intimate permanent joint therebetween established by dual extrusion. 12. The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 1 including said vegetation inhibiting member being .a closed frame for sealed surrounding engagement with said wall-like surface. I 13. The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 12 including 7 said vegetation inhibiting member being a four sided frame defining a generally rectangular opening for sealed surrounding engagement with the wall surfaces of a four sided structure,

said frame having elongated guard elements and corner elements each having a substantially identical cross sectional configuration, and

concealed splice means joining said guard elements to said corner elements.

14. The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 13 including ement and a second portion disposed in underlying relationship with respect to said guard element body portion with an outer part of said splice member received within said inwardly open splice receiving channel and an inner portion of said splice member received within said outwardly open splice receiving channel, whereby are joined in a butt joint with said web-like splice member concealed from exterior view. l5..The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 14including said comer element being a unitary molded structure having one said splice member molded to each joining edge thereof and projecting outwardly therefrom. 16. The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 14 including said downwardly depending outer support leg being shorter than said downwardly depending inner support leg, said outer support leg having an inwardly directed flange which cooperates with another portion of said outer leg and the overlying portion at" said body portion to define said inwardly open splice receiving channel, and p 7 said inner support leg having an'outwardly, directed flange which cooperates with another portion of said inner leg and the overlying section of said body portion to define said outwardly open splice receiving channel, which is disposed at a position spaced upwardly from the lower extremity of said inner support leg. 17. The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 14 including said frame being adapted for protectiveengagement with a generally rectangular grave marking structure, at least two web-like splice members each joining two said guard elements to each other in a'butt joint,

and v fastener means securing said splice members to overlying portions of said guard members, whereby relative separation of the joined members is resisted. 18. The vegetation inhibiting member of claim 17 including said web-like splice member having a cross sectional configuration generally the same as that of the overlying body portion ofsaid guard element 0 corner element.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 803 760 Dated April 16 1974 Inventor(s) Joseph J. Matvey It is certified that error appears in-the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 4, line 27 Before ",as" change to Column 12, line 7 After "whereby" insert -said corner element and said guard element-- Signed and sealed this 13th day of August 1974.

(SEAL) Attest:

McCOY M. GIBSON, JR. C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents F ORM PO-1050 (10-69) USCOMM'DC 60376-P69 Q U.S GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE I989 0-3664,

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3578027 *Jul 30, 1969May 11, 1971Zopfi William LSealing plugs or closures
US3619944 *Jul 2, 1970Nov 16, 1971Matvey Joseph JVegetation inhibiting guard
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4317309 *May 16, 1980Mar 2, 1982Sheldon Steve SPlant growth suppression device
US4372079 *Jan 22, 1981Feb 8, 1983Trageser Ann SGarden edging structure
US4595175 *Apr 2, 1985Jun 17, 1986Kauffman Lawrence RFenceliner
US4663883 *May 9, 1985May 12, 1987Hilliard Lloyd DLawn trimming device
US4897973 *Feb 16, 1988Feb 6, 1990Vincent S. PedrickModular sun block system
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Classifications
U.S. Classification47/33, 52/102
International ClassificationA01G1/08, E04H13/00, E01F15/02, E01F15/04
Cooperative ClassificationA01G1/08, E01F15/0469, E04H13/003
European ClassificationE04H13/00B, A01G1/08, E01F15/04H2