We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Time-saving projects always take more time than one expects.
We have always been partial to a gardening mix with hanging baskets, large pots, and planters. According to my local expert Mrs. BD, pots can add structure and height to flower gardens. The only thing that drives her nuts are clashing colors, and she does not like to permit annuals to steal the show from precious perennials and flowering shrubs with their frequently more subtle colors. (Furthermore, she believes that varied and interesting foliage is just as important in a garden as are blooms.) Red annuals? Fugeddaboutit. She says they are for McDonald's and banks - commercial-looking. She is right that overly-bright flowers look commercial and tacky rather than homey unless they are the only thing you are growing.
You could say that she feels that using any annuals is cheating, but I am not so doctrinaire about the elite gardening rules.
Our gardening trick for in-ground gardens is to use plenty of mulch instead of using irrigation, but if you enjoy pots and planters the way the Italians do, and do not always remember to, or bother to, lug watering cans around every night or every morning with all of the other things that need doing, you can assemble one of these sorts of cool dripper systems, set the timer, and forget about them until frost. Our cousins on Nantucket use them for all of their rental houses, and they work great. The mini-hoses are invisible.
Trust me. They'll look much better and grow better with daily water. Pots and planters dry out in one sunny summer day. (Smaller pots don't even make it through a day.) The occasional light dose of Miracle Gro in planters doesn't hurt either.
This how ALL agriculture and gardening is done here in Israel, with our constant water shortages and long, dry summers. A lot of this technology was developed here. And yes, it's a great time saver once set up.
Regarding flower color... tastes change with climate. Vivid hues look very nice in our strong sunlight, while most folks can barely see pastels, even in shade. Two of the most enchanting home gardens I've seen here massed deep purple, blue, and red flowering plants under the dappled shade of spreading trees or pergolas.
We started irrigating with an "Alan Titchmarsh" drip irrigation system that all came in one box, and hten expended it ad-hoc to cover all of our beds and planters and wall-boxes for the times we are away from home in the dry deason.
That kit isn't available in the USA as far as I know, but the content if the kits from Harbor freight are similar, although much lower quality. I felt that starting with the cheapie kit was OK since I could replace anything that broke with a more expensive and better quality part from a local store, and I did end up replacing parts like the non-return valve and faucet attachment. The junctions and tees and tubing are much the same between kits, and the drippers need to be replaced every so often anyway. Starting with a big kit means you don't have to plan it so much.
The wife expands it in ad-hoc style to cover what she adds or moves, and then whenever the flow-rate on some branch gets too low because of the number of drippers or the overall length, I break of part of the branch off and add new tubing from the sub-branch back to the manifold at the faucet.