When choosing a garden hose, price is often an indication of quality. Better garden hoses are able to handle at least 50 pounds per sq. inch of water pressure. A wider hose will have faster water flow. You're also paying for quality material. Rubber will withstand the weather better and hoses reinforced with a mesh layer will be the most reliable. Kink resistance will make your life and your gardening much easier.
Here's a nice, basic black garden hose from Ace that comes with a lifetime warranty. That should give you some confidence. This hose withstands 400 lbs. of burst pressure. It's made from EPDM rubber, which holds up to the hottest weather. Even the connector coupling is sturdy.
The Proflex Garden Hose, from Swan, is made of a rubber/vinyl compounding that helps keep it flexible in all kinds of weather and makes it easier to coil. It's also kink resistant, the sliced bread of hoses. 5/8" x 75' length.
This landscapers hose, from Apex, stays flexible to 45 deg F. It's designed with a special collar to prevent kinking at the faucet. In fact, the whole hose is guaranteed not to kink or tangle. And it has a microshield antimicrobial protection to guard against mold and mildew. This is a serious hose. $25 - 60 Depending on Length.
If you need to hose down your fruit trees when a frost is expected, the Swan Premium Soft & Supple Garden Hose might be for you. It remains flexible in sub-zero temperatures. Of course, it has all the other Swan bells and whistles. It's heavy-duty, kink resistant, rubber/vinyl with a leakproof brass coupling and 500 PSI burst strength. $30 - 45 Depending on length.
This hose is from the Gardener's Supply Co. and comes with a lifetime guarantee. It's relatively lightweight and flexible. They say it's built like a radial tire, with patented six-ply construction and two layers of tough polyester cord. It can handle 500 psi of pressure and the 'Flow-guard' collar's built-in washer provides a leak-free seal. 5/8" diameter and 50 ($36.95) or 100' ($69.95) in length.
Sometimes you don't need the mother of all hoses. You'll still want a quality hose, but something lighter might do the trick. I like these coil away hoses, from Gardener's Supply Co. They curl themselves up for easy storage and stretch out whenever you need them. Constructed of UV-protected polyurethane, which makes them durable but light weight. They're rated at 300 psi pressure, but the 1/2" diameter means less water flow.
A bonus is that they are also drinking water-safe, which most hoses are not. So you can help yourself to some water while watering the plants. 25' ($24.95 ) or 50' ($39.95) lengths.
Most nozzles in hardware stores are intended for watering the lawn or washing the car. Plants need more delicate care and water wands are my choice for a garden nozzle. This aluminum want has 9 spray patterns (flat, angle, shower, fan, cone, center, jet, mist and soaker). I either shower or mist my plants and save the jet for cleaning under the mower.
The Watering Wand has a one-finger trigger and a continuous flow lock. The handle is cushioned for comfot. It's called the Colorful Watering Wand because it comes in red, green or blue. $14.95