Fall leaves are great for your flower beds. We have a leaf blower/vacuum. The vacuum sucks the leaves up and mulches them. I use this mulch to cover my flower beds in the fall (after frost, before and you are inviting mice and voles). Comes spring the leaf mulch breaks down into a good compost. I recently read an article in one of the gardening magazines that said you should never rakes the leaves from your flower or vegetable gardens.