Landscaping

For all home-care needs, Yankee Home Solutions is there, whether it’s managing rental homes, fixing the plumbing or taking care of the grocery shopping or that pesky “honey-do” list.

Owner AJ Shinners says he once transported a client’s horse to a veterinarian in New Hampshire, waited for the appointment to end and took the animal back home.

But what started Shinners’ business 14 years ago — and what remains the biggest part of the company — was mowing lawns. That grass-razing chore has pushed Yankee Home Solutions to the top of the heap for second-home and commercial lawn-care needs. Now, instead of buzzing lawns through Stowe on his own, he and his business partner Jim Smith employ 16 people.

Shinners also received a second-place nod for Mr. Stowe, sandwiched between No. 1 Bobby Roberts and No. 3 Willie Noyes.

Yankee Home Solutions took second place in the 4393 Best Landscaping category, beaten out only by Ambler Design.

“We don’t really do our own landscaping,” Shinners said. “We mostly maintain what’s already in place.”

Ambler Design was founded by Stacey and Ian Ambler a year after Shinners started his business. The company works directly with home and business owners, architects and builders to provide site and landscape design and construction, working with talented local tradespeople to get the job done. The Amblers work with homeowners or on companies on their own ideas, or start from scratch with sketches and concept imagery for materials, plants and other unique details.

Ian spent hours in his parents’ garden as a boy, then earned a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. His wife, Stacey, is a master gardener and offers the creative vision behind their projects, such as Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge’s front entranceway.

— Kayla Collier

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