I plant cloves in the fall, usually in October since I'm in (US) Zone 7. They usually sprout and grow a bit, overwinter, and then continue with strong spring growth, producing new cloves in late spring and early summer. These plants show robust new growth following warm weather.
I've had a lot of fun growing garlic. It's remarkably easy and garlic seems to be pretty trouble-free.
I'm trying to resist harvesting too much 'green' garlic this spring. It's totally delicious -- fresh young shoots are excellent in stir-fries and other dishes.