Although I live on the East Coast now, I grew up in California, where leaves were generally not raked up and toted away with such fervor as here. So, I have always been a proponent of simply mowing leaves--whether in piles or where they fall--and dispersing them with my rake around plants in the beds that I've dug and planted over the years. The trees and shrubs always look hearty, rarely get diseases, and give us lots of pleasure at all times of the year. An added bonus is that my husband, an Easterner, has learned to be happy with seeing another form of leaves; he no longer feels guilty about not raking to move leaves away from an area!
That's great! Congratulations. (I know a man who enthusiastically rakes ginourmous piles of leaves to the middle of the lawn, but doesn't get around to carting them away until after ice and snow season...but that's a different story.) Your system sounds like a grand one.