2 years ago my family and I moved to the east coast and my mom painstakingly dragged along her huge tropical orchid collection with her from California. 2 years later her orchid collection has slowly withered away. Between the harsh winter and rampant scale infestations courtesy of the ants living in her pots, she's managed to hold on the the basic grocery store Phalaenopsis and Cymbidiums as well as some other large plants that I can't ID since they haven't flowered in 2 years.
This year she seems to have given up the ghost, allowing her plants to sit out in full sun at the side of the house. Only reason they're still alive is probably due to the constant rain around here. They're still sending up new shoots but I doubt she's still interested in them.
Anyhow, sob story aside, I recently learned of temperate orchids via browsing a random nursery catalog while at the dinner table and Cypripediums seemed to spark her interest (price tag aside..). In an effort to cheer her up a bit, I would like to get into this hobby myself, and somewhere down the line, teach her the ropes and then pass whatever collection I can gather on to her.
I'd like to figure out what are generally the easiest species/hybrids to grow for beginners as well as some tips for cultivation that I may have missed while Googling. Ideally I'd like to grow them in pots during active growth and then bury the pots during the winter so that they can get the cold temps they need. If it's relevant, I live in Zone 6B.
Thank you to anyone who can help!