The exciting thing about growing garlic is that its an early starter and you will see the new shoots from last fall's planting long before the last frost has passed.
Our new garlic plants are already 2-4 inches high and growing daily. We were concerned that one end of our field is much wetter than the other sections and that this would cause a problem for the new plants. What we are finding though, is that the young plants in the wet areas are actually larger and earlier starters than the drier area!
Its also interesting that the Russian Red Porcelain garlic, which typically produces the largest bulb of all of our varieties, was not the first out of the ground, but has rapidly overtaken the others and the young shoots are now about twice as high as our other varieties. But we don't eat the shoots...so it will be interesting to see how the different varieties fare.
Another advantage to the early start is that we've been weeding now for about 4 weeks, and have our beds well under control. This can be an advantage if you are growing a number of different types of crops, as the garlic can be started and managed well into its growth cycle long before you even think about seeding other varieties.