I've done a few with Poplar. You can go plain Jane or deck them out.
Personally I can't stand the way the plinths protrude into the walkway at just about the perfect height to catch a hip or hand,a child's head or eye. As my mother used to say " It's all fun and games till someone loses an eye".I've also used poplar.
Adding a subtle taper to the columns can be a nice touch as well.