Aphids on rose buds
The area has had an unusually good dose of rain this year. Combine that with the warmth of the California sunshine and the plants can almost grow unhindered. I said "almost" because that same weather condition can also make pests grow almost unhindered. This year we had so many aphids - the lady bugs cannot keep up with their population growth. I had to rely on my handy dandy "dishwashing soap spray".
Aphids like to feed on young and tender plant parts. They feed by piercing and sucking sap from their host. Unlike the chewing insects where the damage can be detected easily, aphids keep the plants intact but drain them out of the nutrients that they need. Regular close inspection gives us a better chance to eradicate them before damage is done.
Stroll in your garden, it's good for you and your plants. :)