Does seem to be the ideal number. We are involved in a careful selection process to determine the very best one to keep and nurture.
Funny, I thought there was one on the other side of the driveway. I'll have to look if it is still there.
I recommend some protection for that mountain laurel. A nice infestation of green briar and poison ivy should do it.
Regarding laurel #2, there used to be one, even scrawnier, but I haven't noticed it for a long time. Took a close look yesterday and no sign of it. So we still have the perfect number.
Counting one mountain laurel plant seems like a pretty straightforward proposition. Counting more than one gets a bit more complex, since they may grow extensively from a single root base and pop up in a diffuse cluster, thereby appearing to be many. And then a branch may dive into the soil and root some more before sending out other scouts. So I don't put much energy into trying to count them. However, I have a large airy pile out back that I liberated from its roots in about 45 minutes earlier this morning, and I will go engage the chipper sometime today to get the air out of the pile. Shouldn't take long.
I got one. Cut it down to ground level several years ago when I had the house painted, but it came back.