Well, now it's almost two years later, and my plan appears to be working. It's not a MWA-HAHAHAHA evil kind of plan. Although it would be, if poly-gnomials were involved.
Nope, it was this plan: "OK, take a deep breath and spend a little money on your front garden, and in a few years, you will be able to split the plants and distribute them in various corners of the back yard." One makes a plan like that, but it's still a little painful at the time, especially when Spike professes faith in the plan, but I think he secretly doubts. (No, he didn't. He never doubts my plans. Never, ever. He's good like that.)
So yesterday, Spike was briefly between tours and roofs, and he good-naturedly split some daisies and dug some holes for me. AND ... not only then was I able to spread out some plants and improve a few more corners for no money at all ... pause to happy dance ... but I also swapped some daisies for some other plants with two different neighbours.
Which goes back to one of my philosophies of life. Anyone that has a nice garden - is very likely a good neighbour. It doesn't mean gardeners are necessarily outgoing, friendly, block-party types. But we like digging in dirt and watching things quietly grow, and we just love when someone else notices (yesterday, a complete stranger walked by and said, "Nice job, folks, it looks great, you've really fixed things up" and it made me feel all warm inside), and then we share our garden secrets and perennial splittings, and THEN -- we go back to our own yards and leave each other in peace.
Which about suits me perfectly.