I went to the Kanapaha Spring Garden Festival this weekiend and look at what I found!
This Japanese birds nest fern isn't only stunning, but huge too! Below I've held up a frond with my hand for a size comparison, and I can't wait to put this gigantic centerpiece in my Balinese themed garden, right under the bottlebrush and pineapple guava. Japanese birds nest ferns have narrower leaves and a v shaped cross section, and the best part is, they're super freeze hardy for florida standards! Check out Floridagirl's post freeze entry for a picture of one after a freeze.
Below are two ferns at Kanapaha, the first grown in a moist shady condition in the woods and the second in a dry succulent rock garden. Apart from maybe needing some fertilizer, they look pretty good! I've heard that the best thing for these is putting banana peels in the crown for potassium... I'll have to try that. My point is that these ferns have done well in zone 8 with no protection for years. Even the tropical birds nest ferns can make it if you protect the crown in frosts and freezes.
If you want to see how huge these epiphytic ferns can get, check out this link for one with a 10 foot diameter! Mine's plenty big for now...