My poor azaleas…

My poor azaleas…

Several of my azaleas appear to have perished over the winter. I noticed that they were looking a bit shabby last year, but I suddenly have six or seven bushes (!) that did absolutely nothing this spring. No leaves, no flowers. I have a sneaky feeling that ants are behind this problem, as I have seen multiple ant hills around the bushes that died. Is it possible that ants are the cause of the azaleas' demise? How can I tell? I don't really know much about azaleas or ants...there are probably about 20 azaleas on our property that were already here when we moved in, and I've just sort of let them do their thing...I haven't given them any special care. Could it be something I did or didn't do? I don't want to kill any more azaleas, so please give me advice! Thanks!
Seedlings

Seedlings

Summer is coming when???

Summer is coming when???

The branch is thinned out slowly.

The branch is thinned out slowly.

Tulips are just in time for Easter

Tulips are just in time for Easter

Can I get it to bush up?

Can I get it to bush up?

From my terrace…

From my terrace…