My small garden both back and front are supposedly fully reticulated so I do not have to hand water there.
However, and it is a big however, I collect succulents and I also grow vegetables which are not fully reticulated as they are in high big metal and plastic containers -so I dont have to bend.
The succulents do not need a lot of watering and in the height of our summer i only water once or twice a fortnight -very easy to look after.
The reticulation system is a nuisance as often things go wrong which I cannot fix myself -sprinklers need replacing, people drive over them at the front, etc etc
When I bought the house it had a drip and spray system . . . it got clogged up with ants and we spent so much time over the years fiddling with it that we gave up and now I just water things myself. My yard is small so it is not a big deal.
I do the front yard with a hose, and currently the back yard with a watering can (hose is broken and it's a hassle to disconnect and move the one from the front). That's only for the young trees and the veggie patch. I don't bother with the lawn. It seems to get along fine regardless.
We normally hand water probably a left over method from previous years water restrictions but we do have drip and spray lines to water our orchids in one area but have to hand water the others and our veggies so the hose wins out the majority of times.
My garden was completely set up to be no work-no fuss! But... I disliked using all these bits and pieces which would often have problems arising. I actually get immense enjoyment from hand watering,as it is SO relaxing,and just very private 'thinking' time for me,just as walking USED to be when I was able to do this! I water in the morning and/or early evening when the sun has far less heat in it,so it is very pleasant for me to do this.One if the biggest boinuses to hand watering is that I inspect the plants as I do it, and am able to remove destuctive critters and dead or diseased foliage. People always are telling me that I have green thumbs ,but I feel that my success with all manner of plants comes from the care I give them while I am happily hand watering everything. My neighbour used to ask why I didn't use a sprinkler and I told him exactly what I have just shared here. He now hand waters all the time as he also gets the same sense of peace and pleasure which I have always done!
When I first moved in there were pop up sprinklers and then we had a drought and water restrictions. The pop ups got blocked or wouldn't work for some unknown reason. I now use water sparingly and hand water my pot plants. Water is very costly in south Australia and I feel very sorry for our farmers.
Yes, we gave up on it as every time we got it working, it blocked up somewhere else. At one point there were huge ant egss in the joins and when I pulled it all apart, the ants went berko trying to run away with all their eggs. I suppose it was a nice humid little microcosm for them.
I water by hand. Occasionally I use a sprinkler but it is only occasionally. My garden is a manageable size so I can water by hand and as others have said, it can be relaxing. I have never had any reticulation system. After reading the comments about these systems getting blocked I think I will stay with hand watering.