Sprinkler advice

There was some discussion of sprinkler here. I am a newbie too and would appreciate all advice about my specific situation:
1. Two 30' x 60' backyard TRIANGULAR lawns (flowers along the long edge). There's a walkway along the diagonal edge which needs to be avoided.
(This is a 30 x 60 rectangular lawn in which the previous owners put a diagonal walkway in the middle.)
2. Two 12' x 15' rectangular front gardens (no grass, only flowers and plants, many delicate), with a walkway in the middle which need to be avoided.
(Again, a 12 x 30 front yard with a walkway in the middle.)
3. Two 8' x 16' city parkway lawns, which can be watered together as one 8' x 32', but there is a sidewalk along the long edge that needs to be avoided.
As you can see, we need control over where the water goes, and also over how powerful the spray is (due to flowers).
I am open to buying one or more sprinlers. When possible, I would prefer flow control as well as metal construction. I don't need timer.
I am quite confused about various types (oscillating, impact, turrets, etc) and would like advice on best types for our situation, with specific brand/model recommendations if possible. (Would like to avoid spikes because of 2-year old kids and also impact type IF the jet would be too strong for them. They tend to run towards any water.)
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Kiran wrote:

Your dimensions don't equate... wouldn't two 30' X 60' triangles bisected diagonally by a walkway make a lawn 60' X 60 square?

Why pray tell can't your sidewalks/walkways get wet... is it some kind of water soluable concrete... what do you do when it rains?
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: Your dimensions don't equate... wouldn't two 30' X 60' triangles : bisected diagonally by a walkway make a lawn 60' X 60 square?
Hi Seldon, obviously you are no math genius and I can't draw on the keyboard. :) Try a pencil and paper, ask some student who is good in geometry, or just trust my numbers.
: Why pray tell can't your sidewalks/walkways get wet... is it some : kind of water soluable concrete... what do you do when it rains?
It is not the concrete that's the problem, but people walking on it. Lots of foot traffic here.
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I think using hoses and sprinkler heads is too much work, and hard to do accurately, so I would suggest an irrigation system.
For delicate areas, I would install a drip irrigation zone, which can deliver water to the roots without disturbing the foliage.
For the lawn area, your choice is either multiple pop-up heads (they spray in a circle, but can be adjusted to a wedge shape, or pop-up impact heads (which can also be adjusted to a wedge shape). Generally, the impact heads have a further throw, but are also more subject to wind, so you might prefer six or eight pop-up sprayers to one or two pop-up impact heads.
I suggest you do need a timer, as most controllers function as timers, and also can control volume. It is a better practice to water early in the morning, as you lose less water to evaporation, but the water is not lying on the flora all night, which can tempt diseases.
Unless you are strong and handy, having a system installed (they also do the designing and checking pressures, etc.) is not a bad idea. I had my back yard done professionally, then brazenly stole their techniques to do my front yard and flower beds myself. The installer even suggested this, and put in a couple of extra control valves when he built the manifold, saying I would probably need them later.
If you want to self-install, you will have to be prepared to do a lot of trenching and dealing with underground utilities, but I think most manufacturers offer a design service, and my experience is that irrigation supply houses do too (although a lot of them prefer to deal with installers, rather than homeowners). The big box stores seem to me to offer inferior parts, incomplete inventory, and no design help at all.
Spending some time at the web sites of some manufacturers should help you understand what is available, and how to plan your system. One good recommendation is that you arrange it so that every area is covered by two heads, which reduces the chance that you will have any gaps in coverage.
Kiran wrote:

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