My old Rhodie has less blooms
I have an old Rhodie, 50-60 years old I'd guess, which has bloomed spectacularly for the last 10 years (when we bought the house), but this year has only a scattering of flowers, mostly in a band running across the top from North to South, and on the South facing side. The East side, which faces the house is just empty. The leaves seem to be fewer also. The plant is a great big ball shape naturally, well over 8X8 feet, and I think that that is why it escaped much pruning by the former owners. They seem to have loved shrubs trimmed into ball shapes, even forsythia and ribes.
I've never done much for it, though the lawn it used to be next to has been replaced by vegetable beds. I don't fertilize. I've mulched the veggies quite heavily with compost and chips, but not under the rhodie. I leave the fallen leaves where they are.
We are in Seattle, which generally has mild winters and fine summers. Last summer was very chilly though, even in August really. This winter had an unseasonable cold snap fairly late also. However, I don't see any dead buds, just a lack of buds.
Was it just the weather? Or have I been cultivating too close to it? I've really tried to avail the area under the branches.
Thanks for your help!