CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 The present application claims the priority benefit of U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/574,416 filed May 26, 2004 and titled "Novel Plant Container Hanging Apparatus and Associated Methods of Use"; this application also claims the priority benefit of U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/587,308 filed Jul. 13, 2004 and titled "Novel Plant Container Hanging Device and Associated Methods of Use." The disclosure of both provisional patent applications is incorporated herein by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates, generally, to the fields of gardening and horticulture. More specifically, the present invention relates to the hanging of plant containers to improve utilization of space as well as the placement of plant containers (and the plants therein) for aesthetic purposes.
 2. Description of the Related Art
 Plant growers ship plant products in plastic containers of variable size, design, material, and manufacturing origin. To aid consumers in their purchase and care of plants, plant growers will provide plant care instructions on a small disposable care tag 150 of standardized dimensions as shown in FIG. 1. These care tags 150 are traditionally inserted directly into the potting material of the container 100.
 As a result of the care tag 150 being inserted directly in the potting material, the tag 150 is often times easily removed or lost. The care tag, too, is often dirtied by the potting material in the container 100. As a result, many plant containers now comprise a feature to accommodate care tags via a vertically-oriented slot 110-140 located along a rim of the container 100. This slot 110-140 still allows for insertion of the care instruction tag 150 but with more stability, permanence, and cleanliness than if the tag were inserted directly into the potting material.
 The container rim slots 110-140 are most commonly found on disposable plastic plant containers 100 that have been produced through, for example, injection-molding or vacuum-forming techniques. While allowing for mass production and lower costs, these disposable pots are, especially in the case of vacuum-forming, not of comparable quality, durability, and aesthetics as permanent plant containers sold in gardening and other retail stores. As a result of this lack of quality, durability, and aesthetics, plant owners will often find themselves forced to purchase an additional plant container that is, perhaps, better suited for display in a home or gardening environment.
 For example, traditional vacuum-formed plastic plant container may be suitable for the purchase and transport of the plant home from a nursery or gardening center. That same container, however, may be of insufficient size to place in a larger suspension device for displaying the plant such as those described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,098,483; 4,337,916; and 4,506,475 due to the container's thin wall and minimal structural integrity. All of these aforementioned plant hanging devices require a hanger assembly that may prove to be unsuitable for a vacuum-formed plastic container. Similarly, the plant container in which the purchased plant is initially provided may prove to be off-balance or too flimsy to set on a window ledge or railing for display to passers-by as a stiff wind or adverse weather conditions may knock the plant and its container from its perch.
 Injection-molded containers, however, are often of superior quality than the aforementioned vacuum-formed containers. Injection-molded plastic containers tend to be of sufficient quality and durability for longer-term use. Injection-molded containers also allow for a greater level of design detail than that offered by vacuum-formed plastics thereby providing for a wider range of feature inclusion such as care tag slots 110-140. Nevertheless, injection-molded containers are often not appreciated as a long-term planting solution as consumers will often buy an after-market container for display of a newly purchased plant.
 Should horticulturists and gardening aficionados implement containers traditionally considered disposable for potting and display purposes, the cost of plant ownership would be greatly depressed both in terms of money and effort. The plant consumer would no longer need to purchase different and/or more expensive plant containers. Nor would the consumer need to go through the time consuming process of translating and repotting plants in these containers. As such, there is a need in the art for a system to aid consumers in realizing the existence of a long-term, ready-to-use gardening and planting solution in injection-molded potting containers purchased directly from a nursery.
 Additionally, a plant owner may find themselves in a situation with certain environmental constraints--namely sunlight. For example, a particular plant owner may be fond of a particular species of plant but one that is also high-maintenance in that it is dependent on large amounts of sunlight. If that plant owner happens to live in an environment with a number of shadows as may be cast by nearby buildings or other structures, sunlight may be at a premium. As such, the plant owner may be required to place plants in particular positions in order to maximize the amount of sunlight received. But due to other limitations, for example, an inability to utilize a suspension hanging device, the plant owner may be unable to properly position a plant so that it receives necessary sunlight or is located in appropriate microclimates within a particular environment (e.g., sunlight, shade, cross breezes, etc.).
 There is a need in the art for a device allowing for the hanging or display of plant containers that is non-intrusive and cost effective, and allows a plant owner to utilize store-bought containers for carrying out that display. There is a further need in the art for a device allowing for strategic positioning of plant containers that minimizes the use of space and takes advantage of other existing conditions, such as a sunlight environment, that may not exist in other locales. There is still a further need in the art for a display device that can be adapted to particularities of a mounting environment.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention provides exemplary hanging devices for mounting plant containers, along with the plant and potting material located therein, to a mounting surface such as a wall. In further embodiments, the hanging devices described herein may be utilized for mounting objects beyond mere plants and plant containers.
 The exemplary hanging devices advantageously allow for the mounting of grower containers without the need for plant boxes, specially-designed hanging pots, or suspension mechanisms (e.g., baskets, or expensive, complicated brackets) in which a store-bought plant container must otherwise be placed.
 The hanging devices described herein advantageously allow for providing messages or communications concerning a particular plant (e.g., care instructions) on the device, which reduces product overhead of, for example, plant nurseries in that such communications are less likely to be lost or erroneously disposed of prior to sale.
 The hanging devices described herein advantageously allow for providing messages or communication concerning a particular plant (e.g., care instructions), which can be packaged and sold to consumers as a value-added feature.
 The hanging devices described herein advantageously makes the inadvertent disposal of care instructions less likely in that the care instructions may be integrated with the hanging device.
 The hanging devices described herein advantageously provide a plurality of means for mounting a plant container, including a nail, post, screw, clamp, twine, chain, hooks, or a tether, to a variety of mounting surfaces, including a wall, a wooden fixture, a post, or a pole, for example. The hangings devices described herein also provide an advantageous means of suspending a plurality of plant containers in a vertical row.
 The hanging devices described herein advantageously provide a way for mounting a plant container to a surface without damaging the surface with potting material, water, chemicals, and other materials involved in caring for the plant.
 The hanging devices described herein advantageously provide a way for mounting a plant container on a vertical surface or suspending one or more plant containers from an overhang or horizontal surface despite extensions from the immediate surface of the plant container such as lips and rims.
 The hanging devices described herein advantageously provide a means for conveying information, such as advertising, marketing, branding, or other promotional materials as may be attractive to retailers and/or manufacturers.
 The hanging devices described herein advantageously provide a locking mechanism wherein different configurations of plant containers are not easily detached from the hanging device as may otherwise occur as a result of high winds or other environmental conditions (e.g., rain or hail).
 The present invention describes an exemplary method for utilizing the exemplary hanging devices described herein to mount a plant container to a surface.
 The present invention describes an exemplary method for utilizing the exemplary hanging devices to increase floor- or showroom-space through the implementation of vertical space.
 The present invention provides a collateral benefit to retailers in that the exemplary hanging devices described herein, when comprising a Universal Product Code (UPC) or other price/product identifier are not easily removed from their intended product thereby preventing deliberate switching of price tags or other identifying indicia from more expensive products with less expensive products as a result of the locking feature of the hanging device.
 The present invention provides an advantageous way of exposing plants to or protecting plants from a wider range of micro-climates through the strategic placements of plant containers utilizing the presently disclosed hanging devices.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 illustrates a square plant container comprising a plurality of care tag slots and a plant care tag inserted through one of the plurality of slots as is generally known in the prior art.
 FIG. 2 illustrates a round plant container comprising a plurality of care tag slots and a plant care tag inserted through one of the plurality of slots as is generally known in the prior art.
 FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a hanging device utilizing an underside insertion methodology.
 FIG. 4A illustrates a square plant container, mounting surface, nail, and an exemplary embodiment of the hanging device of FIG. 3.
 FIG. 4B illustrates a square plant container and a round plant container both exhibiting a care tag slot that extends beyond the immediate surface of the containers in the form of a lip as is generally known in the prior art.
 FIG. 4C illustrates a square plant container affixed to a mounting surface via a nail and an exemplary embodiment of the hanging device of FIG. 3.
 FIG. 5A illustrates a square plant container and the exemplary embodiment of the hanging device of FIG. 3 utilizing a hook for mounting the container to a mounting surface.
 FIG. 5B illustrates an exemplary embodiment of the hanging device of FIG. 3 utilizing vertical slots and a hose clamp.
 FIG. 6A illustrates an exemplary embodiment of the hanging device comprising a tapered body and handle area.
 FIG. 6B is a side view of the hanging device of FIG. 6A.
 FIG. 6C illustrates the hanging device of FIG. 6A inserted through a care tag slot utilizing an underside insertion methodology.
 FIG. 7A illustrates a front view of an exemplary embodiment of the hanging device comprising a tapered body and handle area in addition to an extended shoulder, flexure arm, and barb.
 FIG. 7B is a perspective view of the hanging device of FIG. 7A.
 FIG. 7C is a perspective view of the hanging device of FIG. 7A inserted through a care tag slot utilizing an underside insertion methodology as seen from the exterior of a container.
 FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the hanging device utilizing a tang and living hinge.
 FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of the hanging device utilizing a topside insertion methodology.
 FIG. 10A illustrates an exemplary embodiment of the hanging device of FIG. 7A inserted through a care tag slot utilizing an underside insertion methodology and coupled to a vertical member.
 FIG. 10B is a close-up view of FIG. 10A with two containers comprising the hanging device of FIG. 7A inserted through a care tag slot utilizing an underside insertion methodology and coupled to a vertical member.
 FIG. 11A illustrates an exemplary flowchart of a method for hanging a plant container utilizing an exemplary embodiment of the hanging devices.
 FIG. 11B illustrates the exemplary method of FIG. 10A in pictorial form.
 FIG. 1 depicts a standard square plant container 100 comprising four care tag slots 110-130 (tag slot 140 not shown) as is generally known in the prior art. A care tag 150 (as generally known in the prior art) is shown inserted into care tag slot 110. A plant or plants (depending on the size of the plant and/or container) and related potting material (not shown) are generally located in a cavity 180 of the container 100.
 FIG. 2 depicts a variation of the plant container shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 2 illustrates a round plant container 200 with two care tag slots 210, 220 and a cavity 240 as is generally known in the art. A care tag 230 (as generally known in the art) is shown inserted into the care tag slot 210.
 Plant containers, like those illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 (100 and 200) may be of varying sizes (e.g., small, medium, large), shapes (e.g., square, round, rectangular, trapezoidal), and constructs (e.g., plastic or metal) as is required by the particularities of the plant or plants and/or potting material located in the cavity 180, 240 of the container 100, 200 or the particular needs or limitations of the container manufacturer and/or retailer. In that regard, it should be noted that plant containers 100 and 200 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, respectively, are exemplary and not intended to limit the use of the disclosed invention to a plant container of any particular design.
 For the sake of clarity of the disclosure, all references as they pertain to the use of a hanging device in the context of a container are (unless otherwise noted) with regard to the square container illustrated in FIG. 1. The hanging devices described herein are, however, compatible with a variety of containers, including but not limited to the round container described in FIG. 2.
 FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a plant hanging device 300. The plant hanging device 300, for the most part, comprises a flat or planar body design with certain exceptions as noted below. The plant hanging device 300 comprises a tang 310 oriented in an upward direction. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 3, a single tang 310 is utilized although it is contemplated that certain embodiments of the present invention may comprise multiple tangs in a single hanging device 300.
 The tang 310 is inserted into a care tag slot 110-140 as described in FIG. 1. As such, the tang 310 is smaller in width and depth than the corresponding width and depth of the care tag slot 110-140. The width and depth of the tang 310 are constructed so that they are substantially similar to that of the care tag slot 110-140 (e.g., varying by tenths or hundredths of centimeters) or differ by a more substantial margin. Constructing the tang 310 so that the dimensions are substantially similar to the dimensions of the care tag slot 110-140 will result in a more secure relationship as a result of frictional locking between an inserted tang 310 and the care tag slot 110-140. That is, it would be more difficult for a plant container 100 to accidentally be removed from the hanging device 300 by being bumped into or more forcibly removed by severe weather conditions such as rain, hail, or wind. Conversely, the more secure the relationship between the tang 310 and the care tag slot 110-140, the more difficult it will prove to insert the tang 310 into the care tag slot 110-140.
 A close dimensional fit is also optimal in that the `tight fit` between the tang 310 and care tag slot 110-140, as described above, imposes fewer internal stresses on the container 100. For those stresses that do remain present, the `tight fit` tends to lessen the magnitude of that stress. This `tight fit` insertion methodology also presents a more logical and intuitive assembly solution requiring less instruction to and education of the purchaser or end-user.
 The tang 310 is not limited, however, to a frictional locking or `tight fit` solution. Some embodiments of the present invention may comprise a series of `teeth` or ridges' situated along the vertical sides of tang 310. These `teeth` or `ridges` may correspond to a series of `indentions` or `cavities` located on the inside of care tag slot 110-140 and represent a male-female locking methodology. The insertion of these `teeth` into the `cavities` would further strengthen the coupling bond between tang 310 and care tag slot 110-140 making accidental or unintentional removal of tang 310 from care tag slot 110-140 more difficult.
 To ease the insertion of tang 310 into care tag slot 110-140, the tang 310 may have curved corners such that the leading edge of the tang 310 is smaller than the dimensions of the care tag slot 110-140 thereby providing room for error during an insertion procedure. A beveled edge may be used to achieve this purpose as well as a broken radial corner as in shown in FIG. 3 (320).
 Curvature of the tang 310 and corners 320 about a horizontal axis may be further considered for the purpose of frictional locking. Curvature of the tang 310 and corners 320 about a vertical axis may also be considered for matching curvature of, for example, a care tag slot 210-220 in a rounded container 200 as shown in FIG. 2. In several embodiments of the present invention, the tang 310 is planar and flat. Lower-modulus material (i.e., material with a lower measure of material stiffness) of the care tag slot 210-220, like that described in FIG. 2, acceptably yields to a flat, planar orientation to match a flat planar tang 310.
 Certain embodiments of the hanging device 300 may be permanently or removably mounted to a surface 410 as is illustrated in FIG. 4A. In FIG. 4A, for example, the hanging device 300 is being affixed to a wall by means of a nail 420 inserted through a mounting hole 330. Other means for affixing the hanging device 300 to a surface 410 may include double sided tape or Velcro.RTM. although any means may be utilized so long as they are capable of supporting the weight of the device 300 and container 100 and any plant or potting material located in the cavity 180.
 As can be seen in FIG. 4B, however, the care tag slot 110 and 210 of containers 100 and 200, respectively, extends beyond the immediate surface of the container in the form of a lip 160 and 250, respectively. This lip is often a reinforced and more durable structure and allows for a more equalized distribution of weight. In this way, the container 100 or 200 is not `torn` or damaged as easily by the weight of the plant and its potting material if a person happens to pick up the container 100 or 200 at its top (e.g., the lip or elsewhere on the rim of the container) instead of gripping the entire container 100 or 200 or placing support underneath the container 100 or 200.
 Because the lips 160 or 250 will often extend the tag slot 110 or 210 beyond the immediate surface 170 and 260 of the container 100 and 200, it may sometimes be necessary for there to be a bend 340 in the hanging device 300 in order to allow for the tang 310 to be inserted into the tag slot 110 while still being mounted to the surface 410. Through the use of this bend 340, the tang 310 of hanging device 300 is offset from the mounting surface 410. Additionally, this bend 340 and associated offset allow for the clearance of the head of a nail, screw, or similar fastener between the hanging device 300 and the container 100.
 FIG. 4C illustrates the container 100 mounted to the surface 410 through the use of nail 420. While the hanging device 300 is flush against the mounting surface 410, the bend 340 allows for insertion of the tang 310 into the tag slot 110 by offsetting the tang 310 from the mounting surface 410. Without the presence of the bend 340, insertion of the tang 310 into the tag slot 110 may be more complicated as lip 160 extends beyond the immediate surface 170 of the container 100 whereby the tang 310 may not otherwise be able to reach and subsequently be inserted into the care tag slot 110.
 In the present embodiment of the hanging device 300, there is a single bend 340. Other embodiments, however, may exhibit multiple bends 340 (not shown) to allow for further offsetting of a container from a mounting surface. Additionally, a single bend 340 may be more pronounced, that is, increasing a distance between the tang 310 and the remainder of the device 300 mounted flush against the mounting surface 410, to also allow for further offsetting of a container from a mounting surface.
 Returning to FIG. 3, hanging device 300 may further comprise the aforementioned mounting hole 330. Mounting hole 330 is not limited to mounting devices such as nails but may also be utilized with an 'S hook-type device 510 such as that illustrated in FIG. 5A. The mounting hole 330 may be configured in a variety of shapes and sizes but is preferably round to engage an appropriately-sized nail 420. The mounting hole 330 may also be of a keyhole configuration as described in FIG. 6A.
 The mounting hole 330 may be positioned above a center of gravity of the hanging device 300 when the device 300 is affixed to a surface to avoid unwanted rotation of the device 300 in the plane of the surface; such positioning provides additionally stability to the hanging device 300. The mounting hole 330 may also be positioned above an anticipated center of gravity of the plant container 100 when engaged with the tang 310 of the hanging device 300, also for the purpose of providing added stability to the mounted device 300.
 In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, more than one mounting hole 330 may be included in the hanging device 300. Wherein the case of a single mounting hole 330, the hanging device 300 might not be fully constrained against rotation in the plane of the mounting surface, the use of more than one mounting hole 330 in conjunction with an appropriate mounting device (e.g., a nail 420) will overcome such lack of constraint.
 Hanging device 300 also comprises shoulders 370. The shoulders 370 are, in an exemplary embodiment, located on both sides of the tang 310 and help distribute load and prevent over-concentration of load on, for example, the tang 310, the bend 340, or any particular portion of the hanging device 300. The shoulders 370 also control a depth to which the tang 310 may be upwardly inserted into the care tag slot 110. For example, once the lip 160 (FIG. 1) of plant container 100 comes into contact with the shoulders 370, it will be impossible to further insert the tang 310 into the care tag slot 110. The shoulders 170, in conjunction with the tang 310, further ensure stability of the plant container 100 coupled to the hanging device 300 via the care tag slot 110. That is, if the shoulders 370 are too narrow, the device 300 might easily slip into the care tag slot 110 along with the tang 310 as the shoulders 370 are often the same width of the device 300. If the shoulders 370 are broad, however, they will ensure that the remainder of the device 300 does not slip into the care tag slot 110.
 While the shoulders 370, as noted, are generally the same width as the device 300, certain embodiments of the present invention may employ an hourglass or tapered design where the shoulders 370 are broader than the remainder of the body of the device 300.
 The hanging device 300 may also comprise vertical mounting slots 350 and 355. The vertical mounting slots 350 and 355 may accept a variety of hardware including, but not limited to, wire, string, cable ties, or hose clamps, twine, chain, or a tether. The vertical mounting slots 350 and 355 offer an alternative mounting solution when a penetrating system, such as that offered by a nail or similar device, is not preferred or possible. Alternative embodiments of the present invention may comprise a single mounting slot or more than two mounting slots, the latter of which may be situated at various locations on the body of the device 300. Other embodiments of the present invention may comprise one or more horizontal mounting slots so that the device may be coupled to, for example, a horizontal railing.
 Conditions warranting the use of this alternative mounting solution (350 and 355) may include railing uprights, chain-link fencing, window security bars, decking components, tree trunks and limbs, chair legs, umbrella stands, or mounting surfaces constructed of such material as to prevent penetration of, for example, a nail (e.g., a steel post).
 FIG. 5B illustrates the hanging device 300 affixed to a vertical railing 530 that may be impenetrable or overtly damaged by the use of a nail or similar penetrating device. In FIG. 5B, a hose clamp 520 is introduced through vertical slots 350 and 355 thereby allowing the hanging device 300 to be affixed to the vertical railing 530 surface.
 Returning, again, to FIG. 3, at the base of the hanging device 300 is a support arm 360. The support arm 360 may engage with a side of the plant container 100 in order to maintain the container 100 in a desirable level orientation.
 The support arm 360 further maintains the plant container 100 separate from a mounting surface such that water and dirt, which may exit a bottom of the container 100 through drainage holes, are less likely to come in contact with the mounting surface. Distancing the container 100 from a mounting surface also helps ensure certain chemicals, such as pesticides or fertilizers, are less likely to come in contact with the mounting surface, which can cause damage to the substrate through staining or discoloration. While the present embodiment of the invention comprises the mounting arm 360, certain embodiments of hanging device 300 may not include this feature.
 In exemplary embodiments, the hanging device 300 is stamped from sheet metal, preferably steel. It is further desired, especially in highly-oxidizing environments such as those found in warm, high-humidity, outdoor areas, to slow or prevent corrosion through the inclusion of a corrosion-resistant surface treatment, such as nickel coating, electroless nickel coating, or zinc coating for example. Other surface treatments may include, but are not limited to, chrome, chrome-molybdenum, galvanizing, anodizing, and powder coating.
 The hanging device 300 may also be constructed from plastics or other construction materials known in the art to provide sufficient support for, for example, a container, plant, and potting material of certain weights. Through the use of stronger construction materials (e.g., metals), for example, additional weight may be supported.
 FIG. 6A illustrates a further embodiment of the present invention whereby a hanging device 600 is introduced to a plant container from a bottom of a care tag slot, that is, through an underside insertion methodology.
 The hanging device 600 may be constructed of durable plastic or any other suitable material (e.g., one that is durable yet cost-effective and light-weight or as may otherwise be determined by a particular manufacturer).
 In exemplary embodiments, the hanging device 600 is planar in body design, as shown in the side view FIG. 6B, and comprises a body 610 that generally tapers from a first end (the distal end) to a second end (the proximate end) and culminates in a head 620 at the proximate end. While it is not necessary for the head 620 to actually come to an actual point, the head 620 will, in most cases, be narrower in width than the body 610 of the hanging device 600 to allow for ease of locating and inserting the head 620 into a care tag slot from its underside. As such, the width of the head 620 is less than the related dimensions of a care tag slot through which the device 600 is inserted. In that regard, the head 620 may be an actual point, rounded, or beveled in design.
 The body 610 comprises a mounting hole 630 that is similar to that described in, for example, FIG. 3. The mounting hole 630 is of sufficient size to allow for the insertion of a mounting device, for example, a nail, post, hook, or screw. The mounting hole 630 may be designed with a keyhole configuration (as shown in FIG. 6A) to allow for easy, initial insertion of the mounting device through a largest part of the mounting hole 630. After initial insertion of the mounting device through the largest part of the mounting hole 630, the device 600 is repositioned around the mounting device in the narrower and more form fitting portion (635) of the mounting hole 630. The use of a keyhole configuration also better communicates the purpose of the hanging device 600 to the consumer in that the shape of the keyhole configuration naturally conveys the intended function of the device 600.
 The mounting hole 630 (regardless of whether it comprises a keyhole design) may further comprise a reinforcement edge 640. The reinforcement edge 640 serves to better balance and distribute stress that results from the weight of a plant container, plant, and potting material. The reinforcement edge 640 may comprise, in the case of a plastic construction material, a thicker and denser plastic molding than the remainder of the hanging device 600 and, specifically, the body 610. The reinforcement edge 640, in some embodiments, may comprise a different material than that used to construct the actual body 610 of the hanging device 600. For example, in some embodiments, the reinforcement edge 640 may utilize a metal layer that is more resistant to strain, creep, or breaking than traditional plastics. The reinforcement edge 640 may outline the entire mounting hole 630 or particular portions of the mounting hole 630, for example, those areas where the mounting device is most likely to come into contact with the device 600 (e.g., the proximate end of the mounting hole 630).
 A shoulder 650 is located on both sides of a base of the body 610 and opposite the head 620. The shoulders 650 offer reinforcement and help support the weight of a plant container. As the shoulders 650 will come into direct contact with a reinforced section of a care tag slot once the hanging device 600 is inserted into the care tag slot 690 of the container as shown in FIG. 6C, the shoulders 650 further control the depth to which the head 620 and the body 610 may be upwardly inserted in the care tag slot 690.
 The shoulder 650 is a part of a top surface of stopper 660, which may extend laterally from the body 610 of the hanging device 600. The stopper 660, along with the mounting hole 630 and the shoulders 650, further supports the weight of a plant container suspended from the hanging device 600. The stopper 660 and supporting shoulders 650 are broader than the care tag slot 690, as seen in FIG. 6C, and prevents the hanging device 600 from slipping through the care tag slot 690 as might occur in certain devices utilizing a topside insertion methodology.
 The prevention of the device 600 from slipping through the care tag slot 690 is a result of the shoulder 650 and stopper 660 not needing to actually pass through =the care tag slot 690 as required in the aforementioned topside insertion methodology. That is, the shoulders 650 and stopper 660 are physically unable to, and therefore prevent the hanging device 600 from, passing through the care tag slot 690.
 In additional embodiments of the present invention, like that described in FIGS. 7A through 7C, a series of flexure arms and barbs may be used to lock the device 600 into place relative the container 100, especially when the device 600 and container 100 are not actually mounted or affixed to a surface. In a topside insertion methodology, such flexure arms and barbs may be used to bear the actual weight of the container 100.
 The hanging device 600 may further comprise a waist 670 that separates the body 610 of the hanging device 600 from the shoulders 650 and stopper 660. The waist 670 also helps separate a balancing edge 680 from the shoulders 650 and stopper 660. The waist 670 may be that part of the device 600 that is situated inside a care tag slot and therefore not seen while the device is inserted. Waist 670 can be of varying lengths. The balancing edge 680 helps maintain a plant container associated with the care tag slot 690 in terms of orientation on a vertical plane relative to the hanging device 600. The balancing edges 680 are located on the sides of the body 610 opposite the head 620 (that is, near the distal end) and represent the widest part of the body 610 from which tapering occurs toward the head 620 (that is, the proximate end).
 The balancing edges 680, as seen in FIG. 6C, are most effective with regard to maintaining a desired orientation when they are located nearest inner edges of the care tag slot 690. For example, the greater the space between the inner edges of the care tag slot 690 and the balancing edges 680, the more room for adjustment (whether desired or otherwise) that exists with regard to the orientation of the hanging device 600 relative to the container. The less space between the inner edges of the care tag slot 690 and the balancing edges 680, the closer the dimensions of the balancing edges 680--especially width--to the dimensions of the inner edges of the care tag slot 690, the more secure (as a result of, for example, frictional locking) and stable the orientation of the hanging device 600 relative to the container. The use of flexure arms and barbs, like those described in FIGS. 7A through 7C, further aid in securing and stabilizing a container relative to the hanging device 600 whereby the barbs will lock in place over a care tag slot and further limiting the depth of insertion of the device 600.
 Certain embodiments of the present hanging device 600 may comprise a handle area 685 located at the farthest end of the body 610 opposite the head 620, that is, located at the distal end. The handle area 685 aids in the positioning of the hanging device 600 during the insertion process into care tag slot 690. The handle area 685 also provides frontage to display certain messages 695 to the plant owner or passer-by of the hanging device 600. For example, in FIG. 6A, the message 695 is the web address of the device retailer, Vertical Plants:
 The message 695 may be placed on the handle area 685 during the manufacturing process (e.g., the message is embossed or debossed plastic molding made during a plastic molding process) or may be affixed through, for example, a sticker, painting or `pad printing,` following the manufacturing process.
 It is within the scope of the present embodiment for the hanging device 600 to serve the dual purpose of a hanging mechanism in addition to a communication device with regard to providing, for example, plant care instructions as would normally be found on a prior art care tag 150 such as that described in FIG. 1.
 The handle area 685 may be of a larger size that shown in the exemplary embodiment in FIG. 6A. Some embodiments of the present invention may substantially enlarge the handle area 685 both horizontally and vertically. In this way, more frontage space is provided for communicating, for example, plant care instructions. In embodiments with a smaller handle area 685, providing detailed care instructions for high maintenance plants may not be possible. Thus, more frontage space is needed to properly convey the instructions in a size that can be easily read by a plant owner or possible purchaser of the plant. By utilizing a larger handle area 685, more space is provided for this more detailed message 695.
 Embodiments of the hanging device 600 utilizing this larger handle area 685 may be shipped or provided to the customer with the actual plant container and plant. For example, the hanging device 600 (with enlarged handle space 685) may be inserted directly into the potting material found in a plant container by a plant nursery or into the care tag slot 690. That is, the head 620 is inserted into the soil or the care tag slot 690 (using a topside insertion methodology) with the body 610 providing proper support for the enlarged handle area 685. The handle area 685 may display a particular message 695 (e.g., plant care information, the type of plant in the container, or the cost of the plant) for passers-by or purchasers of the plant to review.
 In some embodiments of the present invention, an exemplary hanging device (like device 600) may be manufactured, shipped, or delivered with a container (like container 100) as part of a kit. The kit, in an exemplary embodiment, may comprise device 600 delivered pre-inserted into a container care tag slot as is shown in FIG. 6C or, alternatively, as part of a single package but still requiring the user to insert the device 600 into a care tag slot. Such a kit offers the benefit of easy assembly in that all parts are provided together instead of through a variety of retailers or even as separate product purchases from a single retailer.
 In additional embodiments of the present invention, a hanging device (like device 600) may be manufactured as an integrated part of a container (like container 100). That is, the device 600 is constructed as an actual part of the container through, for example, injection molding techniques. For example, hanging device 600 may be permanently physically integrated with the container at a care tag slot thereby offering for additional strength, support, and stability while still offering hanging functionality through mounting hole 630 in addition to communicative properties through the use of handle area 685, which may or may not be detachable as is described herein. The physical incorporation of device 600 into a care tag slot may allow for the elimination of certain features that might otherwise be found in a hanging device: flexure arms and barbs like those shown in FIGS. 7A-C, for example.
 Insertion of the device 600 using a topside insertion methodology would be similar to that of the underside insertion methodology and previously described wherein the body 610 of the device 600 is inserted into the care tag slot 690 until the shoulders 650 exit the slot and come into contact with the bottom side of the care tag slot 690 and is described in more detail in FIG. 9. Utilizing the hanging device 600 in this way, the shoulders 650 and stopper 660 will still function to prevent the hanging device 600 from slipping through the care tag slot 690 as the shoulders 650 still extend beyond the width of the care tag slot 690 regardless of whether the hanging device 600 is inserted from the top or the bottom of the care tag slot 690.
 Once the plant and container is purchased, the hanging device 600 can be removed from the potting material or care tag slot 690, inverted, and utilized specifically as a hanging device through the insertion of the head 620 and portion of the body 610 through the care tag slot 690 from the underside as has been described above and as shown in FIG. 6C.
 Utilizing the hanging device 600 in this way not only improves the utility of the hanging device 600 by offering additional functionality but also helps overcomes the problems of traditional prior art care tags 150 being lost or disposed of inadvertently.
 The handle area 685 may, in some embodiments, be detachable from the remainder of the hanging device 600 at the stopper 660. For example, the handle area 685 may be a `clip on` feature utilizing plastic or metallic clasps that latch on to, for example, the stopper 660 of the hanging device 600. Similarly, handle area 685 may exhibit an insertion tang that can be inserted into a receiving slot built into the stopper 660 whereby the two components `lock` together after insertion.
 Configuring the handle area 685 with such detachable functionality allows for multiple uses of the hanging device 600 and, specifically, the handle area 685. For example, if the plant in the container dies and a new plant is placed in the container but has different care instructions, the handle area 685 can be easily replaced with a new handle area 685 exhibiting those new instructions.
 This is especially useful if the message 695 of the handle area 685 is permanent. For example, if the care instructions or any other message 695 are placed on a handle area 685 that can be inserted and/or removed from the hanging device 600, it is not necessary to purchase additional hanging devices 600 when that message 695 needs to change.
 Configuring the handle area 685 with such detachable functionality also allows for retention of the care instructions that may be permanently affixed to the handle area 685 but for replacement of the remainder of the hanging device 600 should, for example, the mounting hole 630, body 610, or some other aspect of the hanging device 600 break or otherwise be damaged.
 An additional embodiment of the present invention, as shown in a front view in FIG. 7A and a perspective view in FIG. 7B, may utilize flexure arms 730 with barbs 740 used to hold hanging device 700 in place after insertion into a plant container's care tag slot.
 The hanging device 700 is similar in construction to that of the hanging device 600 disclosed in FIG. 6A with regard to a head, tapered body, handle area, shoulders, and stopper. It should be noted that in device 700 as illustrated in FIG. 7A, shoulder 710 extends upward from stopper 720 where in FIG. 6A, the shoulder 650 is an integrated part of the horizontal plane of the stopper 660. The upward extension, in some embodiments, may be aesthetic while, in other embodiments, may offer additional `locking` functionality as described below. The stopper 720 and shoulder 710 of the present embodiment (FIG. 7 (700)) continue to distribute and manage the weight of a plant container resulting from the contact of the shoulder 710 with the reinforced section of the care tag slot, but also operate in conjunction with the flexure arm 730 and barb 740 to better manage holding a plant container.
 The flexure arm 730 and associated barb 740 are located on both sides of the hanging device's body. The flexure arm 730 extends downward from the body of the hanging device 700 but remains in the same plane as the body of the device 700. At the end of the flexure arms 730 are barbs 740 that are on the same horizontal plane as the shoulders 710. The barbs 740 are lateral, in-plane extensions outward from the flexure arm 730. The upward extension of the shoulders 710 from the stopper 720 may allow for entry and alignment with the horizontal plane of the barbs 740, which are extended downward from the body of the hanging device 700 by the aforementioned flexure arms 730.
 Flexure arms 730 and barbs 740 allow for some degree of mismatch between the width of the device 700 and the inner dimensions of a care tag slot thereby accommodating manufacturing variations of the slot. While care tag slots are generally 1.00 inches in width, variations between /-0.050 to 0.0200 inches are not uncommon.
 By inserting device 700 and its locking barbs 740 at the end of flexure arms 730 through a care tag slot allows for the barbs 740 to lock in place over the care tag slot. The barb 740 and flexure arm 730 combination provides an adaptive and high-tolerance locking and security feature to address a wide-range of manufacturer variations in containers and care tag slots.
 The flexure arms 730 and barbs 740 further help eliminate `over insertion` of the device 700 into a care tag slot wherein the extensions of the barbs 740 (as seen in FIG. 7B) serve as stops for the insertion process. Shoulder 710 and stopper 720 further aids in this regard.
 The barb 740 and the shoulder 710 both come in contact with the care tag slot of a plant container and help distribute weight of the container throughout the hanging device 700 in addition to preventing movement of the container on the hanging device 700 following insertion of the device 700.
 For example, the flexure arms 730 and barbs 740 of the present embodiment are desirable when utilized with a plant container that is round in configuration and contact amongst a shoulder and stopper as described in other embodiments may not be as flush as in flat-edged containers due to the curvature of the container. While the hanging device 700 is generally planar in construction (versus a circular container), the general flexibility of the device's 700 construction in conjunction with the flexure arms 730 and the associated barbs 740 provide for more complete contact and retention of the container than would, for example, a purely planar (or inflexible) hanging device.
 As shown in FIG. 7C, the combination of the shoulders 710 and locking barbs 740 located at the end of flexure arms 730 augments locking of the device 700 into a container. This locking feature prevents accidental removal or slippage as may be caused by motion of the container when mounted to a particular surface (e.g., as the result of a strong wind).
 This locking feature further prevents unwanted removal of the device 700 from a container. A wholesale plant grower or retailer may appreciate such functionality in that consumers will be hindered in an attempt to remove a device 700 from an unpurchased plant at a nursery for use in a purchased plant at home. Further, should the device 700 utilize a handle area (like handle area 685) with a message (like message 695) that comprises pricing or UPC information, a dishonest consumer will be hindered in attempting to switch the price tag of a high priced plant with that of a lower priced plant.
 In yet another embodiment of the present invention, and as shown in FIG. 8, a planar hanging device similar to that described in FIG. 6A is provided. The present embodiment, however, further comprises a series of laterally-bent tangs 810, which extend along the front- and back-face surface of the hanging device 800. Although only two such laterally-bent tangs 810 are shown, any number may be provided.
 These tangs 810 are coupled to the surface of the hanging device 800 through a living hinge 820. The living hinge 820 is a thin section of plastic continuous to the surface of the device 800 and the tang 810. The living hinge 820 functions to keep the tang 810 and surface/device body together and allow for general back-and-forth flexibility.
 The hinged tangs 810 will yield to upward insertion motion (i.e., the hinges 820 will `fold` inward allowing the tang 810 to enter the same plane as the rest of the device 800) but will lock into place (i.e., the hinges 820 will `fold` outward and the tang 810 will leave the plane of the rest of the device 800) after completion of the insertion step and having passed through a care tag slot. Any attempts to remove the device 800 in a downward motion will be met with resistance by the tangs 810 as they come into contact with the care tag slot.
 The tangs 810 in conjunction with shoulders 830 (the shoulders 830 being similar to those described in FIG. 6A) effectively locks the hanging device 800 in place relative to the hang tag slot and associated container. This locking feature prevents accidental removal or slippage as may be caused by motion of the container when mounted to a particular surface (e.g., as the result of a strong wind) and further aids in unwanted removal by, for example, dishonest customers as described above.
 The presently described embodiments may, in certain configurations, be capable of topside insertion through a care tag slot while still allowing for locking and hanging functionality. For example, a hanging device like that initially described in FIG. 6A may be constructed in a manner more like a device 900 illustrated in FIG. 9. For example, FIG. 6A shoulders 650 and stopper 660 are configured to extend beyond the width of the care tag slot to physically prevent the device 600 from slipping through the care tag slot, that is, the device 600 comes to a rest against the care tag slot once the shoulders 650 and stopper 660 make contact with the slot. The width of the shoulders 650 and stopper 660, while desirable in an underside insertion methodology, make a topside insertion methodology difficult due to the aforementioned dimensions.
 The embodiment of FIG. 6A may be modified, however, such that the device 900 maintains a tapered body 920 that ends in a point 910, which may be an actual point, a rounded corner, or beveled edge. Instead of the broad shoulders and stopper as illustrated in FIG. 6A, the device 900 comprises a narrower stopper/shoulder combination 930 that, initially, meets with some resistance when inserted through a care tag slot in a topside insertion fashion.
 With the application of an appropriate amount of force in combination with the device 900, especially the shoulder/stopper 930 combination being constructed of a flexible material, the device 900 is forced through the care tag slot such that the stopper/shoulder combination 930 exits the bottom-side of the care tag slot. The stopper/shoulder combination 930 is sufficiently wide to prevent the device 900 from immediately slipping back through the care tag slot but is not as secure as, for example, a bottom side insertion methodology as described in FIG. 6A.
 Various features of the above-described embodiments may be combined with other features as describedi in other embodiments as is most desirable for a particular hanging device configuration. For example, it may be desirable to combine the living-hinge design of FIG. 8 with the barb design of FIG. 7A to achieve maximum security of the hanging device and container. Likewise, many of the disclosed embodiments may be reconfigured from a bottom side insertion methodology to utilize a topside insertion methodology like that generally described in FIG. 9.
 FIG. 10A is an exemplary embodiment of a hanging device 700 coupled to a vertical member 1000. Vertical member 1000 may be manufactured via plastic or metal injection molding, die cut or stamped plastic or sheet metal, die cast metal, metal or plastic wire, metal or plastic extrusion, metal or plastic pultrusion or any other available manufacturing methodology that proves to be commercially viable by manufacturers and/or retailers of the present invention.
 Vertical member 1000 comprises a mounting device 1010 for suspending the member 1000 from a horizontal surface such as a ceiling. In the present embodiment, mounting device 1010 comprises a hook although mounting device 1010 may comprise any other means for suspending the vertical member 1000 from a horizontal surface. Mounting device 1010 may be permanently or removably affixed to the vertical member 1000. Vertical member 1000 may also be permanently or removably affixed to a vertical surface through a mounting hole (not shown) and appropriate mounting means or one or more mounting slots (also not shown), which may be a part of vertical member 1000.
 FIG. 10B is a close-up view of the vertical member 1000 of FIG. 10A. As seen in FIG. 10B, vertical member 1000 comprises a series of hanging protrusions 1020, which may or may not be constructed of the same material as vertical member 1000. Hanging protrusions 1020 may be situated at various locations along the vertical member 1000. Hanging protrusions may mirror one another (i.e., having an accompanying protrusion opposite each protrusion) or be more sporadically placed along the body of the vertical member 1000 (e.g., in a staggered spiral or purely random fashion).
 It is envisioned that some embodiments of the vertical member 1000 will allow for the removal and replacement of hanging protrusions 1020. Not only will such removability allow for replacement of broken protrusions but will also allow for particular placement of the protrusions 1020 to accommodate a variety of different sized containers or the particular whims of the user.
 As can be seen in FIG. 10B, a hanging devices--like device 600 are--mounted on the vertical member 1000 via the placement of the protrusion 1020 through the mounting hole (e.g., 630) of each particular device. Mounting of the particular device on a protrusion 1020 may occur prior to or after the insertion of the device into a care tag slot located on a container. While device 600 is exemplified in FIGS. 10A through 10B, this is not to suggest that only a hanging device like hanging device 600 may be used with the present vertical member 1000. Any hanging device described herein that comprises a mounting hole may be inserted into a container and mounted on the vertical member 1000.
 FIG. 11A illustrates an exemplary method 1100 for hanging a plant container utilizing an exemplary embodiment of the hanging devices described herein.
 In step 1110, the care tag slot of a plant container is located.
 In step 1120, after having located the care tag slot of the container, an exemplary hanging device as described herein is inserted into the care tag slot. Insertion of the hanging device is, in part, dependent upon the particular hanging device utilized by a user of the hanging device. Some embodiments may require an underside insertion whereas other embodiments may require a topside insertion. Other embodiments may allow for an underside and/or topside insertion and the particular insertion methodology is, therefore, left to the discretion of the user.
 In optional step 1130, the hanging device is locked into place. Whether or not the locking step is required, again, is dependent upon the particular hanging device embodiment utilized by the user. For example, an embodiment like that described in FIG. 7A allows for the locking of flexure arms. An embodiment like that described in FIG. 8 allows for the locking of hinges. For those devices not offering a locking mechanism, the user simply ensures the hanging device is securely and snuggly inserted into the care tag slot.
 In step 1140, the container is mounted to a given surface utilizing the hanging device. The particular means of affixing the device are dependent, in part, upon the particular surface to which the container and hanging device are to be mounted. For example, dry wall or wood may allow for the use of a nail inserted through the mounting hole of an exemplary hanging device. If the mounting surface is, for example, a pole or metallic surface incapable of receiving a nail or similar affixing means, the vertical slots of an exemplary embodiment of a hanging device may be used in conjunction with, for example, a hose clamp. In yet another embodiment, the mounting means for mounting the hanging device and container to a particular surface may be a hook.
 FIG. 11B is a graphic representation of the method described in FIG. 11A. The identification of a care tag slot is shown in step 1150 followed by the insertion of an exemplary hanging device in step 1160. The optional locking of a hanging device is shown in step 1170 while the final mounting step in shown in step 1180.
 The above-described embodiments are exemplary. One skilled in the art will recognize and appreciate various applications of the disclosed invention beyond those presently described here. This disclosure is not meant to be limiting beyond those limitations as expressly provided in the claims.