For the basement stairs: cabinets, stairs with flip up steps and very narrow stairs. Each step goes up one at a time for each foot. It is sort of spaced so you are putting one foot per step with a steeper step. Very space-saving.
Lowes sells the 4 to 6 round PVC pipe with holes already drilled. Purchase an end cap, fill with rock, soil, and plant. add amazing height and color to a container that has trailing plants (no end cap or rock needed if you are placing in a container)