No, it's not a leaky faucet. It's the most water-savvy way to provide water to the plants in your garden. It's drip irrigation.
According to Wikipedia, primitive drip irrigation was used in China in the first century BCE. Unglazed clay pots were filled with water and buried, and the water seeped out into the ground.
Modern drip methods were pioneered in Germany in 1860, but still used clay pipes. With the advent of plastics, the technology came into its own. A plastic emitter was developed and patented in Israel, where the first experimental system was tried out in 1959.
Wikipedia says, "Modern drip irrigation has arguably become the world's most valued innovation in agriculture since the invention in the 1930s of the impact sprinkler which offered the first practical alternative to surface irrigation."
The beauty of the system is that the water gets right to the roots of the plants where it does the most good. No water is wasted through evaporation. Since the water doesn't touch the leaves, certain diseases can be avoided.
Where I used to live, we had drip irrigation for the vegetable garden. The setup consisted of a header hose, which was perforated for the drip lines to run down each row of plants. The system was made by Irrigro. The drip lines were Tyvek, and the water just seeped through the material. (Other systems have emitters plugged into the drip lines.)
We covered the lines with straw mulch, both to save water and to protect the Tyvek from the sun. The header hose was then attached to an outside faucet. Some systems have timers, but we just watched it ourselves, adjusting the faucet according to the weather. At the end of the season, we picked up the whole system and stored it in the cellar.
It worked incredibly well and was easy to put together. There are many articles and videos online with information on installation and use, such as this one from This Old House. It's not even expensive; Irrigro has a starter kit (for a 250-square-foot garden) for $50.
Try it! You'll have healthier plants, better harvests, and be part of the solution to our planet's dwindling freshwater supplies.