Laurum has reviewed 3 plants

Centranthus ruber Red valerian

Posted: 04 March 2012
Overall: Self-seeds abundantly, which may be seen as a disadvantage to some. I love it because I can grow it in shallow soil where virtually nothing else will grow, and it attracts the hummingbird hawkmoth and painted lady butterflies.

Pyracantha 'Soleil d'Or' Firethorn

Posted: 04 March 2012
Overall: I planted this shrub by my 6ft garden wall to help deter intruders from going over it, after having a few incidents of that sort. It looks good year-round but I haven't found it very fast growing so it's taken a few years to start to serve the purpose I planted it for. Mine is planted in particularly heavy clay and it's also in partial shade which may have slowed it somewhat.

There's a pyracantha near me of unknown species which has been allowed to grow into the size and shape of a small shape - because it's large and unclipped, it attracts a large amount of bees when in bloom.

Escallonia 'Apple Blossom' Escallonia

Posted: 04 March 2012
Overall: Pat, what you have is Escallonia leaf spot. It's a relatively new fungal disease, having only been spotted a few years ago but has spread fast. The RHS website has details on how to treat it (search escallonia leaf spot there) but I guess that more will be found out once they've properly identified the strain etc.

Shame as it's a lovely plant otherwise, but the disease is making it look unsightly and probably weakening it.