Purchase stair risers from your local home improvement store...paint it white and add some window boxes... small herb garden?
DIY- You can buy 5 slate, or limestone, or travertine tiles for about a dollar or two each...glue them together into cube planter boxes. The idea du Jour!
Planters made from plastic PVC tubes and mosaic tiles.
Stone PAVERS become stone PLANTERS. Cement planters can be so expensive. This is brilliant!