This is what all my rose buds look like right now. Seriously! The kamikaze attack by the Japanese Beetle is in full swing. I actually lowered my organic gardening standards and I've sprayed twice with Sevin and they still come back in hordes. I do go out and shake them into a bucket of soapy water twice a day but it looks like I won't have any roses until September when they diminish. I think they are in full reproductive mode and hopefully will slow down soon. I've applied Milky Spore Disease for the past 3 years but I think they just keep flying in. I read somewhere that they fly in from 5 miles away so unless everyone in your neighborhood is battling them you're bound to have some in your garden if you live east of the Mississippi River. In my experience they love roses, raspberries, hibiscus, dahlias, grapes and morning glories. In the no good deed goes unpunished category they were imported in the early 20th century to eat aphids. I have to admit I don't have an aphid problem so maybe that's the bright side.
The garlic has been harvested on August 2nd so it's safe to say that no vampires have been seen in the garden. I planted it last October so it definitely is a crop you have to have patience with. It had great big heads this year and a huge crop so I think we'll be eating garlic until next year's harvest. I have it drying in the shed on racks and will hang it in the basement later. I let the soil dry on them for a few days then just brush it off before I store them. I think it helps them last longer that way rather than hosing all the dirt off when you dig them up. That's the other pointer is to make sure you dig them up not pull them up because the stem will break off and you'll end up leaving your garlic in the ground.
I'm not an expert gardener by a long stretch but I do enjoy growing my plants from seed. I mostly do this because I'm a frugal gardener but I also appreciate how it helps get me through a long Midwest winter.