Answer: L. axillaris is native to moist and wet woodlands of the coastal plains from Virginia to Florida to Mississippi, though they are considered hardy to southern New England in protected areas. The plant prefers moist, acid soils and partial shade. It is often used in an open woodland/lightly shaded area to give a naturalistic effect. Does this sound like your yard?
This plant is a member of the heath family, and likes an annual mulch with leaf mold, compost, or other source of organic matter. Other than an occasional deep watering, the plant should be relatively maintenance-free. It grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet, and it should be evergreen in your region. I don't think they would take well to drastic trimming, and it would ruin their nice arching shape.
I would definitely contact the contractor/landscaper and get more information. The fact that they are behaving so differently, and especially the bull's eye spots, seems to me like it could indicate a disease problem. If they are planted in full sun and dry soil, then that could definitely stress them and cause the leaf discoloring (since they prefer moist, shady spots.)
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