There are two general types of sprinklers; those that are pressurized, and those that are not. These are a few of the wide variety of goodies and gadgets available to water plants.
In the foreground is the hand-held favorite everyone has on the end of their garden hose. It waters plants, and washes cars, pets, porches, sidewalks, and Venetian Blinds. They are made in many materials, designs, and spray patterns.
To its left is a garden favorite. It has an adjustable spray pattern and can be adjusted additionally by elevating the end with the hose connector. A similar device is available that will automatically move along a path determined by the placement of your garden hose(s) and is powered by the water pressure.
There is usually a removable stopper in the end opposite the hose to allow debris to be flushed from the supply tube. When the nozzles gets plugged, remove the stopper, turn the water on slightly, and clean out the nozzles with a tooth pick or straightened metal paper clip.
The ring on the front right will deliver a very soft pattern to a relatively small area like the drip line of a tree or shrub.
In the middle of the Ring is a brass clog-proof Irrigator that has two outlets which provide a figure 8 pattern. It is also a good choice to water trees and shrubs.
On the far left is an inexpensive yellow Timer with a black knob. This
can be used in series with most attachments and allows you to turn off the water after a predetermined time. This can be a luxury if you will not be home to turn it off. The Timer is best attached to the faucet before you attach the hose. This location usually provides protection that may be lacking in other areas.
Beside the timer is a blue Diffuser. This prevents the force of the water from eroding the soil. It is very useful for watering newly planted trees.
Next to the diffuser is a Fan sprayer. It has a soft spray that causes minimal disturbance to foliage and soil.
In the back is a navy blue Wand which is a hand-held garden favorite to water delicate flowers and plants because of its very soft shower. They usually have an adjustable shut-off to control the flow. They are very effective when the end is held upward so the spray arcs back down onto the plants. This is my dog Skoobie's favorite HOT day refresher.
The larger Sprinkling Can is useful for hand watering of plants that are far from the faucet. With the head removed it fills car radiators and pet dishes.
Its smaller aqua-colored brother includes a hand-powered Mister that is great for house plants.
Mounted on a board is a very inexpensive green Whirling Sprinkler. Its circular pattern is adjustable, and it takes up very little storage space.
The larger green Sprinkler has two brass arms that whirl around on a brass bearing, making it longer-lived than the plastic models. The nozzles are also adjustable from a mist to a stream.
Last but not least, is the Turret model that delivers a minimally-adjustable stream of water in a circle or predetermined arc. Its movement is created by the water hitting a spring-loaded mechanism. When it gets to the end of a preset arc, it will reverse its direction. It has a greater range and uses more water than most other sprinklers.
Most of these accessories screw onto a standard male garden hose thread, and have a replaceable sealing gasket to prevent leaks between the accessory and the hose. This gasket is best replaced by one that contains a strainer to keep debris from clogging tiny nozzles.
Some have a male fitting that allows another garden hose to be connected to a second accessory. Most are made in a variety of patterns and materials. Expect the metal models to outperform and outlast their plastic counterparts.